Antapologia, or, A full answer to the Apologeticall narration of Mr. Goodwin, Mr. Nye, Mr. Sympson, Mr. Burroughs, Mr. Bridge, members of the Assembly of Divines wherein is handled many of the controversies of these times, viz. ... : humbly also submitted to the honourable Houses of Parliament
Edwards, Thomas, 1599-1647.
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HAving diligently perused this Antapologia, I find it so full and just, and necessary an ex∣amination, and discovery of the Apologeticall Nar∣ration both in matters of fact, and of opinion, that because I dare not (as too many) have the faith of our Lord Iesus Christ the Lord of glory with respect of persons, I approve it to be imprinted, and commend it (Reader) to thy most serious consideration.

Ia. Cranford.

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ANTAPOLOGIA: Or, A Full Answer to the Apologeticall Narration OF Mr Goodwin, Mr Nye, Mr Sympson, Mr Bur∣roughs, Mr Bridge, Members of the Assembly of Divines.

Wherein is handled many of the Controversies of these Times: viz.

  • 1. Of a particular visible Church.
  • 2. Of Classes and Synods.
  • 3. Of the Scriptures how farre a Rule for Church Government.
  • 4. Of Formes of Prayer.
  • 5. Of the Qualifications of Church members.
  • 6. Of Submissiō & Non-Cōmuniō.
  • 7. Of Excommunication.
  • 8. Of the Power of the Civill Ma∣gistrate in Ecclesiasticals.
  • 9. Of Separation and Schisme.
  • 10. Of Tolerations, and particu∣larly of the Toleration of Inde∣pendencie.
  • 11. Of Suspension from the Lords Supper.
  • 12. Of Ordination of Ministers by the people.
  • 13. Of Church Covenant.
  • 14. Of Non-residencie of Church-members.

Humbly also submitted to the Honourable Houses of Parliament, By THOMAS EDWARDS, Minister of the Gospel.


Ephes. 4. 14.That we henceforth be no more children, tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the sl•…ight of men, and cunning craftinesse, whereby they lie in wait to deceive.


Vers. 〈◊〉.But speaking the truth in love▪ may grow up into him in all things which is the head, even Christ.


Matth. 24. 26.Wherefore, if they shall say unto you, Behold, he is in the desart, go not forth: Behold, he is in the secret chambers, believe it not.


Augustinus Vincentio epist. 48. Non enim propter malos boni deserendi, sed propter bonos mali tolerandi •…ti sicut toleraverunt prophetae contra quos 〈◊〉 dicebant, 〈◊〉 communionem sacramentorum illius populi relinquebant.


Bezae epist. prima D'Andreae Duditio. lactabimusne libertatem conscientiis permittendam esse? Minime ut haec quidem liberta intelligitur, id est, ut quo quisque modo volet Deum colat. Est enim hoc mere diabolicum dogma, Sinendum esse unumquemque ut si volet pereat. Et illa est diabolica libertas quae Poloniam & Transylvaniam hodiè tot pestibus implevit, quas nullae alioqui sub sole regiones toleratent.

London, Printed by G. M. for Ralph Smith at the Bible in Cornhill neer the Royall Exchange. 1644.

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To the tender Consciensed, scrupulous, doubting Christian.

DEare and beloved Christians, for your sal•…es in speciall who are apt to be troubled with many doubts and feares about the Constitution and Go∣vernment of the visible Church, and the way of Worship and Communion in it, have I drawn up this present Answer, as to undeceive you in the A∣pologists, the Apologie, and their Church-way, so to satisfie you in your scruples and doubts about Presbyterie. It was my love, care and respect to tender con∣sciences, that more especially moved me at first (now some seven yeares agoe) to fall up∣on the more thorough studying and searching into the controversies of the Church, &c. And the grounds which now of late have afresh revived my thoughts and studies that way, are, 1. The recovering and reducing conscientious Christians who are not too far engaged. 2. The setling some who are wavering and doubtfull. 3. The keeping of others from falling▪ Now the first borne of my latter thoughts and studies in this kind, is this Antapologi•…, which I here recommend to you for a true glasse to behold the faces of Presbyterie and Independencie in, with the beauty, order, strength of the one, and the deformity, disorder and weaknesse of the other: And good Reader, I have some rea∣son to beleeve and hope, that if you will indeed reade and consider, looke impartially and throughly into this glasse, you may be either changed into the image of it, or at least so stumbled at Independencie, as to be kept from falling into it, and willing in the meane time to waite upon God in that way of his, an Assembly of so many lear∣ned and godly Divines, to see what he will be pleased to speake by them: I at first in∣tended, and accordingly provided materials for a large Epistle to this Book, the more to make way for it in the hearts and consciences of the people, as well knowing there are laid in before hand by many of the Independent party, many prejudices both against my person and the Book, to hinder if possible the fruit and benefit of it, yea to keep people from so much as reading any part of it, that so receiving and beleeving the Independent Grounds without hearing or examining the other side, they may be still kept in igno∣rance and error: I had many thoughts and purposes in my Epistle, to have given the Reader an accompt of my especiall call to the making this Answer, as also to have laid downe the Principles and Rules I more especially went by in the studying of these con∣troversies, and then to have Apologized for my selfe and Book, by answering some ob∣jections and clearing aspersions cast abroad in this mistaking age, and by represen∣ting to the Reader my many sufferings, constant labours, &c. and so to have compa∣red my grounds moving me to make this Antapologia, with the Apologists grounds oc∣casioning their Apologeticall Narration, and my Principles with their three Principles expressed in their Apologie, and my sufferings, troubles, patience and labours, with their exile and patience, &c. and then left them to the Reader to judge in those matters be∣tween us; but conceiving the danger of this way in comparing with the Apologists, least I might become a foole in glorying, and runne into the same fault I charge upon the Apologists, and least it might be thought I sought to commend my Answer by such wayes rather then by the strength of the discourse it selfe, I resolved to forbeare all those comparisons and vindications of my selfe, and to refer all to God; and that I may not hold the Reader too long in the portch, I will only insist somewhat upon justifying and clearing the lawfulnesse of the way and manner of this Answer, and the grounds I goe upon for matters of fact reported in it, and this I must doe of necessitie, for besides other grounds calling for it, within these few dayes, just before the Antapologie was com∣ming forth, a Pamphlet, entituled The Anatomist Anatomized was printed, rather to Page  [unnumbered] prepossesse the Reader against the Antapologie, then to answer the Anatomie of Indepen∣dencie (as all may see) and to be a shelter rather against this shower (as the Anatomizer calls it) ready to fall, then to dry up the drops already fallen: But 〈◊〉 shall by the helpe of God, not only satisfie the Reader, that this covering is too narrow, and the stuffe too slight to keep out the shower from wetting, but make an advantage of it, even to gaine the greater credit and beliefe to the things asserted in my Booke, and to remove this opinion from lurking in many other bosomes, and in particular to make the charge sit heavier upon the Anatomizer, by speaking particularly to the matters of fact concerning him, in accepting of his motion and request, of proving the reports concerning him by witnesses, and before a judicatorie, I must therefore answer to the three Propositions of the Anatomizer as they have reference to the Antapologie. 1. That many things reported in this Antapologie are misreported. 1. Let the Reader observe, that the Ana∣tomizer though he play the fore-game, and will be before hand in speaking to a Book before it come forth (and because truth will hardly overtake a•…ye that is set out foure or five dayes before it (as himselfe speakes) therefore he will be sure to send forth in time even some dayes before reports come out) yet the Anatomizer doth not say all things reported are misreported, so that though many things may be misreported, many things also may be truly reported; and in page 4. in the definition he is pleased to give of the Antapologie, 'tis a Collection of such faults, as either ment mistakes and malice, or per∣haps mens own infirmities have made, either beyond the seas or here, he denies not the truth of all the reports and fa•…les, but grants them with a perhaps. 2. I desire the Reader to consider, that for the matters of fact related in the Apologie, which in this Answer I speake unto, asserting the contrary upon Reasons and grounds laid downe by me, I never intended by such an Answer, to make a Judiciarie infallible proofe (which as 'tis not necessary in the way of answering matter of fact, so neither can it be by rationall men expected, as if without that no sufficient Answer were given to disprove facts) but only a rationall probable proofe from Letters and other Manuscripts going under the names of the Apologists, and superscribed to their known friends, from reports of men of credit, and such who have lived amongst them, hearing and seeing things, and from many circumstances of place, time, &c. by which in reason men may well judge accor∣dingly, and for this kind of proofe I beleeve I can make as rationall and conscientious a one to satisfie my selfe and all indifferent persons, to judge according to what I write, as hath been made these many yeares (for since the Apologie came forth, I have used a great deale of care, diligence and circumspection, both by 〈◊〉 to know the truth of things I formerly had been informed of, and by inquiting particularly of many persons con∣cerning circumstances and their proofes, and questioning with them how they knew such a thing, &c. as also by forbearing to insert matters related to me upon a single tes•…∣monie and witnesse, where there were not other strong circumstances con•…ing to make them out;) And yet for all the care I have used, 'tis possible that among so many things related by 〈◊〉, there may be some mistakes in the reports of some circumstances in matter of order and time, place or number (though I know none such) and yet the report and fact true, (A report may be true and yet mistaken in one circumstance, which when it comes to scanning may prove more foule in another▪) so that the •…se stands thus, whether the Apologists relating such and such matters o•… fact, an Answe•…er ha∣ving evidences and testimonies by him of Letters written in their names, reports from credible men, as godly Ministers and Christians their own friends, with other circum∣stances concurring, hath not reason to question the truth of such facts, and to answer to them, by laying downe his grounds why he judges otherwise; and for my Answer Page  [unnumbered] to the Apologists, if in their Reply they deny any of the matters of fact I speake unto, I will in my Rejoynder at the end of it, print all their Letters, with other Letters of their friends that I have by me, and name the parties from whose hands I had them, and how I came by them, and relate other circumstances which for present I have concealed, and then let the Reader judge whether I had not reason to beleeve, and Answer as I doe. But as for a Judiciarie proofe of all matters of fact in my Antapologie, I not seeing those Letters writ, and most of my Letters being but copies, and many of the facts being done beyond the seas, considering also 'tis possible the relators may mistake in some things, I cannot positively and judicially sware, and make out such a kind of proofe, 3. For some matters of fact spoken to in this Antapologia▪ I know and am certaine of in my own knowledge, and had them from some of the Apologists own mouthes, and though they 〈◊〉 have forgotten them, I can for a need rubbe up their memories, by minding them 〈◊〉 the places, times and occasions which they cannot deny; I have also some originall Letters by me to prove some things asserted by me in this Answer, and for the most materiall things of their preaching and acting for their way, besides that the things themselves speake and are notorious, I have many eare and eye witnesses both of Ministers and people which I can produce, so that if I have reason to beeleeve a report of any thing I see no•…, nor beare not upon the place, as that there was a siege at Yorke and a great victory obtained by the Parliaments Forces neere Yorke, &c. I have ground to beleeve many of the particulars instanced in by way of Answer to the Apologeticall Narration•… Now finding severall passages in the Apologie in point of fact, related with height of considence, contrary to my knowledge and to the testimonie of many, with a cōcurrence of other circumstances which I could not doubt of, & observing other matters of fact brought by the Apologists to take the people with, against which though there were not such strong proofs, yet in the drawing up my Answer to such p•…∣ticulars, whether might not I now upon probable grounds as one sufficient witnesse with the circumstance of place and time, &c. question these, and judge them to be much like the others. 4. Particularly for M. Simpson, because he hath publikely printed that the An∣tapologie is a •…ction of such faults as either mens mistakes and malice, or perhaps me•… own infirmities have made either beyond the seas or here, (in which sentence it is to be ob∣served by the way he confu•…es all that's brought by himselfe against the Anatomie or the Antapologie, himselfe taking up reports suddenly, and beleeving here sayes, before he ever saw any one sheete yea or one page of the Antapologie, branding a Minister and his, Booke for a collection of such faults as either mens mistakes and malice have made, by tellin•… this not only to a particular Church, but to all the Churches in the World, as prin∣ting doth,) and because he puts up a req•…est, that the Reader will not beleeve a•…y reports of this kind in the Booke that i•… comming forth (meaning the Antapologie) untill the Au∣thors of them will appeare and bring their witnesses to a faire, hearing in any lawfull though the strictest •…licatorie, &c. and because he saith, in what he is guilty before men he will confesse ingeniously; That the Reader may not be•…uded to beleeve what's said by him there, and by that be prepossest against the truth of the Antapologie, I accept of his mo∣tion and request, and if he will be pleased to procure any lawfull though the strictest Judicatorie, yea the highest, I am ready for so much as concerns him, to appeare and bring my witnesses to a faire hearing, and if the Judicature will give time, and grant War∣rants to bring in the witnesses that they may be deposed, I doubt not but besides a ra∣tionall Answer by way of writing (which I intended) to make also a full Judiciar•… proofe, yea to prove more then yet I have charged Mr Simpson with, only I desire if I must be put to this trouble, that Mr. Simpsons small and just request may be granted by Page  [unnumbered] the Judicature, that he may suffer if he have done what in the Antapologie is reported of him, and if I cannot make it good, then I am contented to suffer, and I am willing also to be judged by his own Law, Pag. 7. Lege Remmia, to be branded with a K in the fore∣head, if I doe not by witnesses prove his preaching and acting for his way, upon condi∣tion he may be served so if I doe, and to the letter K to have the addition of L and P. But it may be objected, Why doth Mr. Simpson of all the Apologists put forth such a Book before hand, and dare it thus? I answer in his own words, some may perhaps con∣ceive 'tis a signe of guilt to speake so much, and I conceive Mr Simpsons guilt and consci∣ousnesse caused feare, and feare that hastned him to thrust forth something in the way of the Antapologie, to blast the credit of it before it was come forth, and the truth of it is, he of all the Apologists hath been most faulty both in Holland and in England, and for the close of this concerning whats reported in the Antapologie of M. Sympson, I shall speake in the words made use of by himselfe, God taketh the wise in their owne crastinesse, and will destroy such wisdome, and so I beleeve he hath done this of M Symp∣sons forestalling the Antapologie,•…ad M. Sympson remembred a late example of M. P. and M. W. brought in to prove what they had said and written of a Person of place, and the issue of that •…iall, or had he staid till the Antapologie had come forth to have read what I charge him with, he would never have written thus.

2. Propos. That tis no way of God to divulge mens personall faults, supposing the matter of facts to be true yet the divulging of them in this manner is not according to the Word of God.

I answer, all that is brought by the Anatomizer for proofe page 5. out of Matt. 18. and his other grounds are nothing to the case and point in hand, namely of making this Answer, and I would aske Mr Sympson, whether it be lawfull to make any An∣swer at all to the Apologie, if it be, then certainly if the Apologists have personall things and matters of fact, no man can answer them fully, and as they ought to be an∣swered, but he must speake to personall things and matters of fact, and the fault of di∣vulging personall things is not in the Antapologist but in the Apologists: As for the 18. of Matth. that speakes of private offences, and of offences that may be in that way healed, and the other grounds brought by M. Sympson speaks to offences already repented of, and not of such which in stead of being judged faults are made use of pub∣likely to draw men into a way of errour by, I give therefore these two distinct Answers: 1. The Apologists have publiquely and openly sinned in avowing some things in the Apologie, and they never yet repented of them, (as I heard) but M. Sympson justifies himselfe, and them in his Anatomist anatomized, pag. 4. Now the Apo∣stles rule is 1 Tim. 5. 19, 20. though Timothy may not receive an accusation against an Elder under two or three witnesses, yet them that sinne openly may be rebuked be∣fore all, that others may feare, now as the▪ Apologists by Printing told all the Churches, so by Printing it may be told to all the Churches, the remedie ought to be proportioned according to the disease, the plaister to be as large as the sore, the Apologie hath spread it selfe to the Parliament, Citie, Kingdome, and so ought the Remedie; may Indepen∣dents publiquely & confidently write untruths, and may not others in way of answering plainly point at them, but tis against the way of God, and not according to the Word, 2. This may not only lawfully be done, but this ought to be done, when men shall tell sine stories, and bring matters of fact, interweave them all along to prove such a way by, and to gaine people to errours by such Rhetoricall arguments, he who answers such a booke, and would preserve people from errours is bound to disprove all he can those matters of fact, and to speake to those popular arguments, by weakning the truth of those Relations all he knowes, and secondly by showing how they are not Page  [unnumbered] argumentative nor evincing, supposing they were true: Tis well knowne by them who are verst in the writings of the Protestants against the Papists, how in many of the Controversies, especially upon the notes of the Church, the Protestant writers doe, wherein they stand on matters of fact, dis∣prove them by matters of fact and personall things, as upon Unitie, Holinesse of life, &c. and I conceive in giving an Answer to the Apologie, I could not have declined matters of fact without gratifying the cause of Independencie, and wronging the truth; I suppose the excellencie of an Answer, as distinct from writing Tractates upon such a subject, or such a point consists in three things: 1. In not speaking whatever a man pleases, or bringing in whatever he hath a mind to, but in following the text before him, and in keeping his dis∣course close to that. 2. In not omitting any materiall passages, skipping over the knots, passing by the hard arguments and falling on the weake, snatching here and there, but going thorough all. 3. In labouring to take the Authours mind laid down in the words and scope, and in not wresting and fastning an∣other sense upon the Authour: All which I propounded to my selfe in falling upon this Answer, and have aimed at in it, and therefore could not omit matters of fact nor personall things brought by the Apologists, especially when all along they are with much art framed and set to gaine credit to the Church way, to prove some maine principles of their way, and to effect their desires; For instance, how is a story with the Apologists practise upon it, pag. 16, 17, 20, 21. brought to prove the effectuall successe of submission and Non-com∣munion, how is their good carriage since their returne into England, and their exile made use of to move for a Toleration, how is all that Narration of 3, 4, 〈◊〉▪ pages, of their enquirie into the Word of Christ, &c. laid downe as so many grounds to possesse the Reader of the truth of the Church way, let the Apolo∣geticall Narration be analiz'd, and it will be found there is no point of fact, or personall thing in it, but is brought in some way or other as a motive or ar∣gument for their way, so that of necessitie I could not avoid matter of fact, un∣lesse I would betray the truth. Paul in the second of the Galathians 11, 12, 13. openly rebukes Peter, because he was to be blamed for his with-drawing and se∣parating himself, and because others thereupon were carried away with it, and so because the Apologists doe not only withdraw and separate themselv•…, but by their Apologeticall Narration doe even compell others also, I cannot but speak.

3. Propos. That 'tis not argumentative against the cause that, falsly called In∣dependencie, nor rationall or conducing to decide any, or this controversie.

1. That the Apologists and the Anatomizers way is not falsly but truly cald Independencie, I referre the Reader to these pages in this present answer, 201, 202, 203. Secondly, were all the matters of fact, and the Narration of them argumentative for the Apologists cause to move the Parliament, and to draw the Reader to their way, and is not the disproving of them argumentative against it, if this be not argumentative against Independencie, then I am sure the greatest part of the Apologet. Narration is nothing materiall for it, and wher•…fore then was that storie of a Minister deposed, and matter of fact upon it inserted in the Narration with many other, and supposing that to be true, that ther's no reasoning from the qualitie of the person to his cause, why then doe you so much doe it in your Apologie, taking all occasions to magnifie your partie, and reasoning from your persons to your cause, from your sufferings, Page  [unnumbered] patience, &c. but whether there be any strength or no in that, it matters not, tis strongly argumentative in any point to overthrow mens own mediums, and that the Antapologie doth; in a word, there's more consequence then the A∣nato•…zer is willing to see in that maine Assertion of the Apologie, That one Church may non-Communion, but not excommunicate another (as he termes it,) to the miscarriages of M. Sympson and his Church, for might Presbyteriall Government take place, we should not have men so easily principled into Ana∣baptisme, nor make a covenant with separation, &c. as in this answer in many places is proved. And so much for answer to Mr. Sympsons Book as far as it concernes the Antapologie, and may be a block in the way of it, Now besides this, there is one objection more that hath been in the mouths of some Inde∣pendents, and may be instilled into many more to hinder the fruit 〈◊〉 benefit of this Answer, namely (against the maner of the Answer) that tis 〈◊〉 Answer full of bitternesse, malice, reproaches, railings, and that tis a booke written against Gods people and good men. For consutation of this objection, I pre∣sent to the Readers apprehension these following particulars. 1. I have endea∣voured for the manner of doing it, that it might be without all just exceptions in regard of hard words and better speeches, and I can truly say I have declined many words and phrases more proper, and taken other words which in some places have readred the stile more rugged to avoide offensive phrases, and all along though I often disprove matters of fact, yet I never use so harsh a word (to my remembrance) as false, much lesse a lye, but untrue, and this is not so, whereas M. Sympson in his Pamphlet useth falsly and hath the word lye. 2. I desire the conscientious indisterent Reader to consider my book is not a Treatise or Tractate upon what subject I please to speak of, but an Answer, and so must follow where that leads me, & speak to that. 2. Tis an Answer to a book full of matter of fact, and stories of the Authours themselves, so that I cannot answer without particularising, the truth cannot be evidenced to the Reader without cōming somewhat to particulars. 〈◊〉. The Book contains matter of high praise of themselves and their partie (a few inconsiderable persons compara∣tively) with many close, indirect, and dangerous insinuations against all the Reformed Churches, which cannot be answered particularly without some re∣crimination and charge. 4. There are many particulars in matters of fact, I prove and charge the Apologists with, and some too bad for untruth. 5. I forbeare men•…oning the names of many particular persons which this Apolo∣gie leads me unto, some wholly, others I speak of only under the 〈◊〉 letter of their names, and for the Apologists though I often particularly name them, yet in some places of my Book, and in some grosser things, I forbeare particu∣larizing them too. 6. I medle not with personall things and matters of fact that are heterogeneall, to relate other kind of facts and practises which I have heard on knowne of any the Apologists; but speake only of such as are proper to the matter occasioned from their Apologie, or the effects and fruits of their Church way, the Apologists themselves giue the occasion to the laying open so many particulars, which no other occasion but such an one as this could have drawn forth from me to have made their names and practices thus publike. 7. In many passages of this Answer I doe upon severall occasions give the Apo∣logists a just testimonie of that worth for parts and piety which is in them, and speak to them, and of them as Brethren, so that let but all these things be laid: Page  [unnumbered] together, considering also the Rules of Scripture in such Cases, and that I in∣tended a plaine particular down-right Answer, and this Answer will then be accounted candid, moderate, my pe•…dipped in oile, and not in vinegar.

3. I can truly speak it that this present Antapologia is so farre from being written out of any malice or ill will to the Apologists, that I love their per∣sons, and value them as brethren, yea some of them above brethren, and besides that love I beare to them as Saints, I have a personall love, and a particular love of friendship to some of them, and I can truly speake it, that I writ not this book nor any part of it out of any personall quarrell, old grudge, or for∣mer difference (for to this day there never was any such difference or unkind∣nesse passed between us) but I have writ it with much sorrow, unwillingnesse and some kind of conflict, in respect of that old personall love and friendship still strong in me, and had not the truth constrained me, my call to this worke beene strong, and the cause of God and Reformation much in my eye, I had out of my personall love and respect to some of the Apologists given over the worke: I can, and am ready to doe them any service of love, even the mea∣nest, to wash their feet, and should much rejoyce in their happy union and growing into one body with us in this Reformation. And let not this Answer for the truth and plainnesse of it, be branded for a bitter, rayling, malitious Answer, but let this also be added to the former premises, that the Apologists needed such an Answer as should not flatter nor extoll them, but be free and plaine; for the truth is the Apologists have been too much flat∣tered both in their persons and Church-way, and they are undone for want of being dealt with plainely and freely; a candle hath been too much held to them, and I hope this Answer may doe much good, even to abate their swel∣lings and confidence, and if many of the Ministers would deale more plainely with them, it would be better both for them and us: I remember a passage of *Calvin in an Epistle of his to Melancthon concerning Luther, which may be applied to the Ministers in reference to the Apologists, how that if there were that mind in all of us which ought to be, some remedy might be found: And certain∣ly we transmit an unworthy example to posterity, whilst we cast away all liberty rather then we will offend one man, and will not his vehemencie the more rise and grow whilst all beare with him and suffer all things, &c.

4. Answ. The writing of Books against the errors and opinions (though of good men) is not speaking against good men, or opposing godlinesse; when the Apologists in their Apologie writ against Authoritative Presbyteriall Government, and in page 〈◊〉 and 24 of thei•…Apologie doe professedly declare they judge the Calvinian Reformed Churches to stand in need of a further Refor∣mation themselves, and that the truth lyes in the •…ddle way betwixt Authorita∣tive Presbyteriall government, &c. did they speake against the Saints and all the godly Ministers in those Churches: when Paul withstood Peter to the face, because he was to be blamed for his withdrawing and separating, did Paul speake against the Apostles of Christ, or speake evill of the Saints? no more doe, I in writing this Booke.

Good Reader, Not to de•…ine thee longer from en•…ing into the house it selfe, lay all things together, consider wisely of persons and things, and have not the faith of our Lord Jesus Christ the Lord of glory with respect of per∣sons, Page  [unnumbered] Accept and take in good part what is now brought to thy hand, as inten∣ded for thy spirituall good, for the recovering or preserving thee from errors on the right hand, and let love cover any mistakes or faults thou maist meet with in it. I am but one against five, as also in so many sheets there may well be Errata, and all things not so strong, in much writing a mans pen may slip and mistake, and with long waking a watchfull man may winke now and then; consider also this Answer hath been made in the midst of much preaching and many other businesses, having been destitute also of some advantages and helps which at another time I might have had. Thy good acceptance of it; thy profi∣ting by it, and thy earnest prayers to God for me, will encourage me to goe on in further writing, to which I have so deeply engaged my selfe in this Book; and God sparing me life and health, I have taken up a fixed resolution, never to give over writing till this Church be setled, and these great schismes amongst us healed: But if it should so happen that this Antapologia should profit nothing at all many Christians whom I intend it most unto, yet I question not but it will profit some, even as *Augustine in his Epistle to Vincentius writes, even them who have a care to reade it with the feare of God, and without respect of persons. Now the God of truth and peace reveale abundance of truth and peace, and give us truth and peace always by all meanes; He fulfill that pro∣mise in Ieremie, to his people in this Kingdome, to give them one heart and one way to feare him, for the good of them and their children after them: And so commending thee deare Christian to God, and the word of his grace, and this work of mine to his blessing, I conclude this Epistle as Beza doth his to Duditius, Farewell, The Lord keep thee and all thine from all evill, and especially from nooneday Devils, which walke about in this place and in these times, that is, from the errors of Anabaptisme, Brownisme, Antinomianisme, Toleration of Sects and schismes under pretence of libertie of conscience. Amen.

Yours in Christ, Tho. Edwards.

Errata.

Page 1. Marg, for Mat. 1. reade Mat. 1•…. p. 12. l▪ 6. adde and. p. 14. l. 22. for had r. have. p. 36. l. •…0, Tor wa r. is. p. 41. l, 15. for nor r. not. p. 42. l. 29. for Pareus•… r. Pareushesess•…. p. 43. l. 1•…. for satisfie r. satisfied. p. 44 l. 24. for conceive r. conceived. p. 46. l. 19. at the full point, 6. following lin•… though they be printed of the same character which the words of the Letter are, yet they be the words of the Author of this Answer. p. 47. l. 6. for remaine t rem•…e. p. 53. l. 14. adde after rel•… short. p. 57. l. 28. but must be transposed after there, and dele the: p. 64. l. •…1. r. for which though comming it be, which committed though it be. p. 6•…, l. 15. 〈◊〉censures adde the. p. 85. l. 15. for lib•…tles r. Libertines. p. 8•…. l. 30. for marks r. rules. p. 94. l. 26. after others, adde to all the Ordi∣nances. p. 101. l. 17. r. for leave to follow, leave follovving the. p. 107. l. 9. r. for conceiving, recei∣ving. p 124. l. 〈◊〉. for to r. of. l 9. for reall r. evill. p. 134. l. 16. for Offices upon mistaken partialiti•…, r. offences upon mistakes and partialitie. p. 1•…5. l. 2. r, for iudge it, iudged. p. 153. l. •…4. for each r. the, p. 154. l. 12. addd after be, as. p. 156. l. 2. at thus must be a full point, and all the semicircles in this page must be put out. p. 217. l. •…7. for state pars•…te r. state part. p. 28•…. l. 28 for pleas•… r. partaker•…. p. 305. for s•… r. 〈◊〉. p. •…71. l. 〈◊〉. adde for before, 〈◊〉 full. p. 285. l. 27. for diametrally r. diametrically. p. 294. l. 2. for witnesses r witnessed. p. 295. l. 〈◊〉. •…adde after according to. p. 2•…6, l. 13. for should r. could, p. 297. l. 36. for beate r. breake.

Page  1

ANTAPOLOGIA, OR, A full Answer to a Booke Entituled, An Apologeticall Narration, &c.

AS the Assertors of truth, through the subtilty and ma∣lice of Satan and his instruments, causing prejudices and mistakes in the minds of many, have beene ne∣cessitated to write Apologies and make defences (as * the Scriptures, and many Authours both a An∣tient and b Moderne doe abundantly testifie,) c So many who have maintained errours, have purposely chosen the way of making Apologies, and justifications both of themselves and their opinions, that so by good words, and faire speeches, they might deceive the hearts of the simple. Amongst other erroneous spirits who have used this Artifice, the d Brownists, and Separatists have not been least: (as is to be seen in some of their Books,) e The Indepen∣dents and Semiseparatists have also taken up this way, as here∣tofore, so now in this present Apologeticall Narration, which I shall examine, and returne an Answer to, with all candor, faire∣nesse and respect, both to the Authours, and to the Booke, so farre forth as the truth and cause of God may suffer no prejudice. And I shall speake; first to the Title of the Booke, and then to the Booke it selfe.

Page  2 As for the Title; An Apologeticall Narration of some Mini∣sters formerly in Exile, now Members of the Assembly of Di∣vines. It might have been fitlier styl'd, A Panegyricall Oration of some Ministers: Or, An Encomiastick: For all along the dis∣course, Encomiums and Praises are interwoven, and the Au∣thours take all occasions to extoll, and magnifie both themselves, and their party; as many severall passages testifie.

Narration.] 1. An Accusation rather: for both openly, and more closely there are many dangerous insinuations, (and those oftentimes nothing to the matter in hand) by way of derogation, and depression of all Reformed Churches differing from them: as the Reader may observe in these pages. 2. A Narration should be plaine*, cleare, particular, true, perfect; or else it answers not the * nature and end of a Narrative: But this Narration will be found darke, doubtfull, generall, untrue, imperfect both in matter of fact and opinion; relating only part, and having a Reserve.

Of some Ministers formerly in Exile.] As this is part of the Title in the Frontispiece to invite the Reader, and take the people; so 'tis often mention'd in the body of the Book, some ten times, Us{que} ad Nauseam. But into what remote, and farre Countrey were you banish't? and what were the Companions of your Exile? Certainely the Reader, into whose hands your Apologeticall Nar∣ration comes, and finds, both in the Title and Booke so often mention, and such a matter made of Exile and banishment; will thinke, Alas! good men, into what Patmos, Indies, or remote wildernesse were they banish't and for•…'t to flye? and will never imagine, that these were the exiled Ministers, and this their exile, who in a time of common danger, and suffering in their own land, went with their wives, children, estates, friends, Knights, Gentle∣men and Citizens over into Holland, where they lived in safety, plenty, pompe and ease, enjoying their own wayes and freedome: and when the coasts were cleered, came over into England, were entertain'd and receiv'd with all respects and applause, and are now Members of the Assembly of Divines.

For the Booke it selfe: It consists of three maine parts. 1. The occasion of putting forth this Apologeticall Narration at this time. 2. The Narration it selfe. 3. The end and aime of it, exprest in Page  3 the last page of the booke. To each of which parts, and all the particulars, I shall give a direct and positive Answer, by subjoyning the Answer to every passage of the Narration; whereby both be∣ing in the Readers eye, he may compare them together; and so judge the better both of the Apologeticall Narration, and the Antapologie. And I shall follow from page to page, and line to line, not omitting any materiall passage, either in matter or manner of expression, and in the matter no particular either of fact or opinion. And the Reader may observe, that I have tied my selfe to follow close where they lead me, not taking liberty to range or digresse. And this Answer, though it be not written in such strong lines, and inticing words as the Narration, yet (by the grace of God) it shall excell it in plainenesse and evidence; and in the words of truth and sobernesse.

As for this Apologeticall Narration, though at the first view and reading of it, it carries a face of fairenesse, candidnesse, mo∣desty, ingenuity, especially to such who know not the Authours, neither the History, nor all the opinions, so that the learned Licen∣ser, having lived remote (till of late) was strangly deceiv'd to give such a testimony to it; much more may the people. Yet many learned and godly Ministers who understand their way, and them; and have observ'd, their rise, progresse and proceedings in their Church way; even such who are their good friends, and ten∣der enough of them, have quite another opinion of their booke; and judge they were much overseen in the framing of it: and that they have much lost themselves by it, and in due time, may heare more of it, as weli for the unseasonables of it, as for some things con∣tained in it. My judgement of it is this: That 'tis indeed cunning∣ly, and advantagiously drawne up, for to take, and deceive good people; to gather, increase and confirme their party by it; being full of specious and glorious pretences, and all plausible seeming compliance and correspondency with the Churches they d•…rt from. And therefore my scope in this Answer, is the i•…a∣vouring to undeceive the people, and to wipe off the paint, and to shew the snake under the greene grasse, and the foule hand under the white glove: and upon the through and full examination of the booke, I can bring in this just charge against it: That there is Page  4 not only fraud in relating part of the story and opinions, and not the whole, holding out the bright-side of the cloud, but hiding the blacke, but there are many manifest untruths in some of their Relations; and that even where God and men are called to wit∣nesse: And I could in most passages of the Apologie, which are matters of fact, write the quite contrary to what they affirme. Besides, that some passages in the booke, crosse and enterfeere with others. As also there i•… a dealing in generalls, and in the clouds, with many doubtfull and double expressions like Apollo's Oracles: There being few passages of moment either in matter of fact, or opinion, but they are so framed that they may receive a double con∣struction: and that sense which according to Grammar, and or∣dinary acception they carry, cannot be meant.

[Now this charge and every particular of it, I shall make good in this following discourse. And because they have now by Name in so open a manner appear'd in print, as to present this Apologie to both Hous•…s of Parliament; I must be forc't (though against my mind, and contrary to my purposes and resolutions) to name per∣sons, times, places, occasions, with other circumstances which may evidence the truth of what I write to the Reader, calling God to witnesse (whom I desire to feare, and to whom I know I must give an accompt) that I faine nothing, nor wittingly mis-report any thing, no, not in the least circumstance: neither have I taken up reports lightly, but what ever I affirme or assert in this An∣swer, I either had it from their own mouthes, or can shew it in their own letters, or in other manuscripts, or in some printed books of men of their way and communion: or else have received it from credible persons, many of them eare witnesses, and eye∣witnesses upon the places; All which witnesses are either learned, godly, judicious Ministers; or else godly Christians, some their friends and familiars who have beene amongst them, and converst with them, both in Holland and England. And I appeale to many of my Reverend Brethren in the Ministery, and to many godly Christians, and to the consciences of the Authours of this Apologie, upon second thoughts; and to their own followers, and Church∣members, whether, all along I speake not the truth.

Our eares have been of late so filled with a sudden unexpected*Page  5noise of confused Exclamations (though not so expressely directed against us in particular, yet in the interpretation of the most re∣flecting on us) that awakened thereby, we are enforced to an∣ticipate a little that discovery of our selves which otherwise we resolv'd to have left to time and experience of our wayes and spirits, the truest discoverers, and surest judges of all men and their actions.]

You make the ground and occasion of setting forth this Apolo∣geticall Narration now, to be your eares of late so filled with a sudden and unexpected noise of confused exclamations, interpre∣tatively reflecting on you. It will hardly be believed by wise men, that such men as you should make such an Apologie, and that in such a juncture of time, (the Assembly sitting, and being upon Dis∣cipline, and you members of it) upon so weake and sleight grounds as a sudden and unexpected noise of confused exclamations com∣ming to your eares; which, as they are soone raised, so are they as soon gone and often die of themselves, and by wise men nothing more slighted, especially being sudden and confused. If other of your brethren who swimme not with the streame of the times, and are not the darlings of the people, should upon every occasion of their eares fild with a sudden and unexpected noise of confused exclamations; (even when they are expressely directed against them, and not only in interpretation reflecting on them) write Apologies and make defences, they should judge they had little to doe, and might have filled City and Countrey with Apologies be∣fore now. There are who will not be perswaded, but are induced rather to think, there were other motives and grounds of your writing that Apologie at that time: and the rather, because there have been heretofore, such noises of confused exclamations (at least interpretatively reflecting on you) and you pass'd them by. Shall I tell you what is judg'd to have rather enforced you unto this worke: Many of the Ministers in the City, not long before drew up a letter to the Assembly concerning some Church grie∣vances, and in particular, that of gathering of Churches, and draw∣ing away their people: which letter, as it was not directed in par∣ticular against you, so, it reflected in the words and sense upon many others rather then your selves: which letter how it was ac∣cepted Page  6 of by the Assembly, and what speeches and motions were upon it, how to remedy, and prevent the evills represented, and especially, that of gathering Churches, you better know then I. But soon after, some considerations were put forth, by many members of the Assembly, to disswade from gathering Churches: to which considerations your hands were subscribed. (Upon what reasons you complied in that, and whether you could not well avoide it, without greater prejudice to your cause, you know best.) And now whether this Apologeticall Narration was not first hast∣ned to follow upon these considerations to counter-ballance that act of yours against further gathering of Churches, that your cause and way might receive no losse and prejudice, and to satisfie your own party (many of them greatly exclaiming against you for your hands to those considerations,) and so thinking by this after game to recover all, I leave to the reader to judge? 2. Whether also, you well knowing that the Assembly was upon the borders of the maine points in difference and upon comming to debate Pres∣bytery, Ordination, Excommunication, you put not forth this book to tast and try the spirits of the Assembly and others before hand? 3. Whether also, this was not intended to pre-possesse the peoples minds to lay in prejudice against what the Assembly might deter∣mine: and by discovering your selves so before hand, and so pub∣likely ingaging your selves, your party might appeare, and stand the more by you, and with you for a toleration, the great designe of the men of this way in these times? 4. Lastly, Whether (as much as you durst) this Apologie was not set out just upon the comming∣in of our brethren of Scotland to our helpe, to asperse the Governe∣ment and Reformation of the Church of Scotland, and to lessen the esteeme of that Kingdome and Church, so much and so deser∣vedly valued by this Kingdome, but looked upon by all the men of the new Church way, as the great let of their Independent go∣vernment? These reasons with some other may well be thought to be the ground of your Apologie, but that alledged by you (the sudden and unexpected noyse of confused exclamations) seemes so farre from a Reason, that upon good grounds is doubted whe∣ther it can be true that a noyse of confused exclamations reflecting on you and your wayes could be sudden and unexpected to you: Page  7 'Tis strange to me that exclamations should be to you at that time unexpected, that a few men going in a new by way different from all the Reformed Churches of Christendome, and that with so high a hand as you, and your party have done, should not expect spea∣king against, and to have their eares filled with outcryes and excla∣mations (not only confused and interpretative) but distinct, par∣ticular and personall. Now as the pretended ground of making this Apologie is taken from you, so what you affirme in the following words (that you were awakened thereby) is denied, for you have never been asleepe since your comming over into England, but have been alwayes watchfull, and intent to the uttermost upon all things which might either further your way, or might hinder it, 'tis we who need something to awaken us, as having been too much asleepe in respect of you, for whilst the husbandmen have slept, you have both sowed tares, and reaped a harvest: But I am in hope that your Apologeticall Narration and this Antapologia to∣gether, will awaken both Parliament, Ministers and people, more and more, and open mens eyes to judge of things aright between you and us.

As for the being enforced to anticipate a little that discovery of your selves which otherwise you resolved to have left to time and experience of your wayes and spirits.

It appeares manifestly by what I have answered already, both of the weakenesse of that ground (a sudden and unexpected noyse of confused exclamations) and that in all reason you could not but ex∣pect exclamations that you were not enforced by that to make this Apologie, and to anticipate the discovery of your selves; Being schollers and understanding men, you may blush to write that such poore things should inforce you against your resolutions, but you were willing and desirous to make such an Anticipation, and so you would make and find some ground for it, judging a sorry ex∣cuse better then none at all, but however, you were not inforced to anticipate, yet I must tell you this Aoplogie is an Anticipa∣tion with a witnesse, such an Anticipation, both for the unsea∣sonablenesse of it, and for the manner and way of it, as I judge no story nor age can paralell it: That you could not stay a little lon∣ger, but in such a time when we need so much the assistance of our Page  8 brethren of Scotland, and the help of all other Reformed Chur∣ches, in the face of the Parliament, Assembly and Kingdome, to put out such a peece, and to doe such an act as this is beyond all ex∣ample, and I will but represent to your selves and the reader in a third person, what you have done in making this Apologeticall Narration, and then leave you to give sentence. Suppose any other five Members of the Assembly, men, as considerable as your selves every way, both for piety and learning; nay, any twenty Members of the Assembly, had at the same time when you put forth this Apologeticall Narration, only presented a bare Nar∣ration of a Government, different, both from the Government by Arch-bishops, Bishops, &c. and from the Presbyteriall, to both Houses of Parliament; and that without reciting their doings, and sufferings, or pleading their great merits; or without casting any aspertions on Presbyteriall government, and the Reformed Churches: and should have peremptorily concluded, as you doe in two severall pages, viz. 22, and 24. That we doe here publikely▪ professe, the true Government to stand, and consist in the middle way, betwixt that which is called Episcopall and Presbyteriall: What would you five have thought of this? and how (think you) would this have been taken by the Houses of Parliament, and by the Assembly? Whether would not you five, and some others of you, have cry'd out of this, as a most strange fact, and have strongly moov'd, and aggravated it with all your might, that this affront, both to the Parliament, and the Assembly, so contrary to the na∣ture and end of this meeting, to pre-judge, and pre-determine a Governement, might be censured with a suspension from the Assembly, at least, if not an utter expulsion. [As for the disco∣vering of your selves by this Apologeticall Narration, which otherwise you should have left to time and experience: This booke, is not only a little discovery of your selves; but a mighty discoverer of your wayes and spirits; and shewes us what we may judge of you, who will put out in publike a piece so fallacious, and untrue as this will appeare to be. But how ever this is the first discovery of your selves in this way, with all your hands subscribed: yet, we have had a discovery of you for some yeeres past, both in your practises of withdrawing from our Publike Assemblies; and Page  9 in gathering and constituting separated Churches; preaching (also) often on the points concerning your Church-way: as also, writing Letters and other Manuscripts, about •…ose matters; with other wayes, wherein time, and experi•…ce of 7, or 8, yeares last past, hath been sufficient discoverers, and sure judges of you and your actions.

And now we shall begin to make some appearance into publike*light, unto whose view and judgements should we (that have hi∣therto laine under so dark•… a cloud of manifold mis-apprehensions) at first present our selves, but to the Supreame judicatory of this Kingdome, which is and hath beene in all times the most just and severe tribunall for guiltinesse to appeare before, much more to dare to appeale unto; and yet withall, the most sacred refuge ánd Asylum for mistaken, and mis-judged innocence.

'Tis strange, that having kept out of publike light, (as you say) all this three yeares space, you could not forbeare a little longer from telling fine stories of your selves, and publishing your parti∣cular private opinions in print: Especially, considering there was an Assembly of Learned Divines (of which you are Members) to declare unto, and with whom you might debate the points in dif∣ference: where (also) you know you have all freedome, and just respect. And I must tell you, 'tis the judgement, of some of your good friends, that you were much mistaken in the time now, and that you had been farre more excusable, if you had put out this Apologeticall Narration a yeare or two agoe: they interpreting it a violation of the Or•…nce, by which you are Members, a high affront, and contempt to the Assembly in pre-judging of it: and such a preingaging of your selves, and party; as you cannot retreat so easily, and with that honour as you might before: As also, a ground of much disturbance and prejudice with the people against what shall be determined by the Assembly. As to that, you say, we now begin to make some appearance into publike light: In a sense'tis true, for all the time, that you have beene in your Church way, both in Holland and England, you have carried things close∣ly; and conceal'd all that you could possibly, your opinions, and practises, with the grounds of them, from your brethren the Mini∣sters, who studied and understood the points: But for tender con∣scienced, Page  10 and weake Christians (especially such whom you had any interest in, any wayes, and you had any probability to gaine to you) you have not been wanting, either in letters of Invitation, or cominending some books of the Church-way to them: as also by preaching, and conference to draw them to you. As for that quere, Unto whose view, and judgement, should we at first present our selves, but to the Supreame judicatory of this Kingdome? I an∣swer, 1. To any, rather then to the two Houses of Parliament, to present before them such a darke, covert, doubtfull, un-true Re∣lation. 2. In these points of difference about Church-govern∣ment and worship, you should have presented your selves rather to the Assembly than the Parliament, and if you consult the Ordi∣nance (by vertue of which you are Members) you will find it more conformable to have first propounded your doubts to the Assembly; and if the Assembly could not have satisfied you, then, afterwards you had an allowance of giving in your Dissents, with the grounds of them to both Houses. As to that passage, Your having hitherto laine under so darke a cloud of manifold mis∣apprehensions: which you make the ground of first presenting your selves to the Parliament by this Apologie: How does this agree with what you write in page 24? And we found many of those mists, that had gathered about us, or were rather cast upon our persons, in our absence, began by our presence againe, (and the blessing of God upon us) in a great measure to scatter and vanish without speaking a word for our selves or cause. And if at your first appearing, so many of those mists, and in so great a measure were vanisht; then surely, by that time your writ this Apo∣logie, all might have been vanisht and scattered: But let me aske you: Whose mis-apprehensions, doe you understand, you lay un∣der, that you present this Apologie to the Parliament, and appeale to them? Doe you meane, you have laine under the darke cloud of the manifold mis-apprehensions of the Parliament 〈◊〉 or, of the peo∣ple of the Kingdome? Certainely, not under the darke cloud of the mis-apprehensions of the Parliament, They are too great, and wise a Body, to be guilty of manifold misapprehensions of you: Besides, what Ministers have had the sunne of their favour shining upon them, more then your selves▪ You all have been made Mem∣bers Page  11 of the Assembly by them, called to preach before them, upon their publike solemne occasions: and some of you employed in extraordinary services: But if you understand the mis-apprehen∣sions of the body of the people: why doe you present this Apologie to the Parliament? what would you have them doe for you? or how shall they free you from the darke cloud of manifold misap∣prehensions? I suppose, you doe not expect, that the Houses should set forth a Declaration to cleere you five: neither make an Ordi∣nance, that whosoever mis-apprehends you and your wayes, shall be reputed ill affected to the publike (though M. S. your new great friend sets the brand of malignancie on them who are against * you:) Why doe you then appeale to them, in respect of the mis∣apprehensions of the people? or trouble them with so triviall a mat∣ter? Doe you not know, the people will mis-apprehend persons, and opinions, though plainely and fully laid downe? which yours never yet were. And indeed, for any cloud of manifold mis-ap∣prehensions you have hitherto laine under, you may thanke your selves, and never appeale to the Parliament, to be a refuge, and Asylum, for your mistaken, and mis-judged innocence; whenas according to your owne confessions in this Apologie, going in a new, and different way from all the Reformed Churches, you have never yet declared what you hold, and what not: neither have answered the Bookes written against your way, but have reserved your selves: And yet, whereas you pretend a cloud of manifold mis-apprehensions as the ground in this way, first to present your selves, and to appeale to the Parliament: And 'tis a usuall phrase in the mouthes of your party to put off arguments with, that you are mistaken. I know not for mine own part, and some others of my bretheren, wherein any of you have been mis-apprehended by us; but we have so farre judged of you, as to goe by no other rules but your known practises, and your letters, and other manuscripts given, and sent out to your followers; and from what some who are of your own Churches, and your familiar friends have held out, and pleaded for, as your Principles: together with what we find in the printed Treatises of them of New-England, the New-England way being generally taken to be your way: and I heard Mr Bridge since this Parliament openly affirme it, for himselfe Page  12 and others, we agree with them of New-England, and are of their Church-way: And Mr Burroughs hath said so too.

As for the first presenting your selves to the Supreame judica∣tory of this Kingdome: had it not been, for the reasons given you above, I should not have spoken against it: but seeing you have appeal'd unto them, unto them ye shall goe 〈◊〉 unto the Parliament; as the most just and severe tribunall for guiltinesse, and withall, the most sacred Refuge and Asylum for innocence, I appeale too: humbly desiring them (if their great affaires can spare any time) to read this Antapologie, with the Reasons I, above two yeare•… since, presented to the House of Commons, against your Helena of Independencie, and your Diana of toleration. Meane time I can∣not but stand and wonder, that you knowing and acknowledging the Houses to be the Supreame Judicatory of the Kingdome, &c. how you had the face to presen•… an appeale to them in things un∣true: wherein many people can point to and say, passages in the 25, and 26 pages, are not so: I heard (saith one) at such a Church one of the five preach of their Church-way; and I heard (saith another) another of them, at such a Church, preach the like. But why doe I wonder? when it will appeare in the following discourse, you have so much in your own cause at this time lost your selves, and forgot your principles; as that ye doe ascribe to the grace of God, and call God to witnesse your constant forbearance of publishing your opinions by preaching, &c. which how untrue 'tis, I shall evince when I come to the 25, and 26 pages, or else let me suffer. And thus much for the occasion, or Preface of this Apo∣logeticall Narration.

The most, if not all of us, had ten yeares since (some more, some lesse) severall setled stations in the Ministery, in places of pub∣like*use in the Church, not unknown to many of your selves; but the sinfull evill of those corruptions in the publike worship and government of this Church, which all doe now so generally ac∣knowledge and decrie, tooke hold upon our consciences long before some others of our brethren; And then how impossible it was to continue in those times our service and standings, all mens appre∣hensions will readily acquit us.]

Here begins the Narration, wherein we may consider, the Matter Page  13 of it; and the Manner and way of the carriage and contrivance of it.

The Matter consists, partly of Fact and Practise: And partly of Opinions and Tenents: both which all along in their Narration are interwoven within each other: Their opinions and Tenents in their practises, and their practises in their opinions. The matter of the Narration consists of three maine parts: First, of their Opi∣nion and fact before their Exile: The second of their Opinions and Practises in their Exile: The third of their carriage and be∣haviour since their returne into England, from their first com∣ming over to the time of putting forth this Apologie. The Man∣ner of carrying it all along, is clothing the Narration in such words, phrases and in such a way (though the Church principles are laid downe and maintained in it) as to make the Parliament and Kingdome believe they differ little or nothing from the Reformed Churches, and from our Church now: And in the things wherein there is some difference, of which they give but three instances (though the differences be many, and so great in their account as to constitute new Churches and to forsake communion upon them) yet they render them so to the Parliament and Reader, as if the Reformed Churches in the differences between them could not but allow their way and practises, though there may be some just question about their own. Now this Apolo∣geticall Narration in all the parts of it both for matter and man∣ner hath many flawes, both of untruths, and of doubtfull, darke expressions, consisting of generals, &c. The particulars I shall ob∣serve all along, and give animadversions upon them in their pro∣per place.

Now before I answer to all the particulars contained in this Narration, I propound these two Questions to the Apologists to consider of.

Quest. 1. Considering that all of you fell not off from the dark part together, nor upon enquiring into the light part at the same time, that you went not over into Holland together, neither lived in Holland nor England neere each other, neither communicated principles at first to one another, yea were not some of you for a good time so much as acquainted together, besides that you Page  14 were not all in the same condition, with other different circum∣stances; nay yet more that some of you, as Mr Bridge and Mr Sympson, for some yeares in Holland so opposite to one ano∣ther: How you five could in this Apologie all along, both concer∣ning matters of Fact and Opinion in England, Holland, and since your returne, make such narrations and solemne professions both positively and negatively (not only every man for himselfe) but each in the Name of all and for all: Amongst many instances I will name these; 1. How you can in the third page, every man for the other, speake what is there expressed, for suppose Mr Goodwin might looke upon the word of Christ as impartially and unpreju∣dicedly, &c. yet how can Mr Goodwin speake this for Mr Symp∣son and Mr Bridge (the condition they were in being different from his) and I wonder how Mr Sympson and Mr Bridge can write this as agreeing to them both, knowing so well the contrary, and having in many words and letters to their friends, charged each other with great partiality and self-seeking. 2. How could you in the 6th page, make that profession for one another, that all that conscience of the defilements, &c. did never work in any of us any other thought, much lesse opinion, when as you knew not one anothers thoughts and opinions. 3. How you can in the 24, and 25, pages write for one another, which we had not attempted in the least, we call God and men to witnesse our constant forbearance either to publish our opinions by preaching, &c. whenas you doe not know all that others of you may have done or preached.

Quest. 2. Seeing you doe in this Apologie write so often we have so and so, and we have not, we had not, nor any of us, suppo∣sing now some of you to have done, or not to have done, yet if it be found that any of you have done contrary, whether are not the others guilty in this case, and is not the proving such facts against any one or more of you, a proving against you all, and a direct confutation of your Apologie in those particulars: For instance, suppose Mr Ny and Mr Goodwin have not for their particulars published their opinions by preaching, nor attempted in the least to make a partie, but yet Mr Bridge, Mr Sympson, Mr Burroughs, have; and againe, suppose Mr Goodwin, Mr Ny, Mr Bridge, Mr Burroughs have not gathered nor added to their Churches Page  15 multitudes, but Mr Sympson only, whither now Mr Goodwin and Mr Ny, having made professions, protestations in the Name of all, are not faulty and guilty too, and may not be justly charged in the Answer, of untruths in such particulars (though Mr Bridge and Mr Sympson should only be formally guilty.)

The foure first lines of this Section, containing the relation of your stations in the Ministery, is granted you: But as to that part of this Section, The sinfull evill of those corruptions in the pub∣like worship and government of this Church, &c. I desire to pro∣pound this question to you: Whether by the sinfull evill of those corruptions, in the publike worship and government of this Church, you understand the things reputed to be established by law, as the Book of Common Prayer: The Entrance into our Mi∣nistery by Ordination of Bishops, and living under the Episcopall government? Or whether, by the sinfull evill, the Innovations in the government and worship, as bowing to Altars, &c. which came in of later dayes? Now if you meane the first, that which usually was called, Old conformity, in opposition to the New: So I deny that all doe now generally acknowledge and decrie that as sinfully evill; which appeares thus: Because that Remonstrance presented to the House of Commons in the beginning of the Par∣liament, subscribed by many hundred godly Ministers, confor∣mists, and non-conformists for Reformation in Worship, Do∣ctrine, Government and Discipline: The Government, Worship and Ceremonies were impleaded, in respect of many inconvenien∣ces, and evill consequents; but Petitioning against them, as sinful∣ly evill, and absolutely unlawfull was declined: And there are ma∣ny Parliament men and Ministers, who have a great zeale to the present Reformation in casting out the Hierarchy and Ceremonies, who are not yet convinced that all their former practise in the way of old conformity, was sinfull: But as those times were, doe judge they did lawfully continue their standing in their places and in this Church: much lesse are they satisfied that either Episcopall government, or the Lyturgy were sufficient grounds of forsaking our Publike Assemblies, and erecting new: Amongst a cloud of Learned and godly men, take the testimony of Gerson Bucerus in his learned answer to Doctor Downham, who for the point of *Page  16 Episcopacie allowes not of schisme in the Church, but vindicates * himselfe and others who keepe within the bounds of his opinion from being guilty in that kind. Which Answer to the first part of this Section is not here given by me, in the least to plead for the Hierarchy, Ceremonies or present Liturgy (for I heartily desire their removall) but only to shew the Apologists mistake in asser∣ting that all doe now so generally acknowledge and decrie them as sinfully evill. And besides, if you understand these, you cannot be ignorant that Episcopacy, and the old Ceremonies took hold upon the consciences of many others before you: even upon the good old non-conformists you speake of afterwards, Yea, and upon many of your Brethren (of the same time) long before you, as Mr R. Mr H. Mr Sl. Mr R. Mr A. Mr P. cum alijs: who yet never ran into your principles of forsaking the publike Assemblies, and gathering Churches: so that many non-conformists leaving the Ceremonies before you, and yet being farre from your Church-way, may counter-ballance what you would gaine with the people by your Insinuations, and Narrations of leaving the Ceremonies long before some of us: But if by sinfull evill, you meane, the Innovations, of bowing to Altars, &c. then those of us who stand for a generall Reformation, did then acknowledge and decrie them, and they took hold upon our consciences assoone as any of yours: We as much abhorring bowing to Altars, publishing the Declaration for Sports, &c. as you: and witnessing more fre∣quently against them in our Ministery then some of you.

As to those lines in the close of this Section, The impossibility of continuing your stanaings in those times, I confesse there was a great improbability of continuing your publike ministery in those places of London, Cambridge, &c. But whether in some other parts of the Kingdome more remote and obscure you might not have injoyed your Ministery without an impossibility, I question.

Neither at the first did we see or looke farther then the darke part, the evill of those superstitions adjoyned to the worship of*God, which have been the common stumbling block and offence of many thousand tender consciences, both in our own and our neigh∣bour Churches, ever since the first Reformation of Religion: Page  17 which yet was enough to deprive us of the publike exercise of our Ministeries, and together therewith (as the watchfulnesse of those times grew) of our personall participation in some ordinances; and further exposed us either to personall violence and persecu∣tion, or an exile to avoide it: which latter we did the rather choose, that so the use and exercise of our Ministeries (for which we were borne and live) might not be wholly lost, nor our selves remaine debarred from the enjoyment of the Ordinances of Christ, which we account our birth-right, and best portion in this life.]

For some of you, I judge this to be true, as of Mr Goodwin, and Mr Nye; knowing something of the story of Mr Goodwins first comming to fall off from the Ceremonies, (having seen and perused the Arguments and Reasons that past between him and Mr Cotton and some others:) and Mr Goodwin assured me, some Moneths after his going off, that he had nothing to say but against the Ceremonies: The Lyturgy offended him not; much lesse dreamed he of this Church-way he since fell into: So that is true, at first he saw but the darke part, and that but of the Ceremonies. But for others of you: as namely, Mr Bridge, and Mr Burroughs, whose hands are subscribed to this Apologeticall Narration (and this passage is spoken in the Name of you all, not some, or most of us, (as in some other passages) but Wee, as relating to all,) they did not at first see the darke part, nor the evill of those superstitions, (namely, the Ceremonies) but were men judged conformable, and practised conformity till the yeare of Bishop Wrens Visitation, and the sending down to Norwich his Injun∣ctions: about which time, and upon which occasion, Mr Bridge, with other Ministers of the City of Norwich, being first suspen∣ded, and Mr Burroughs afterwards at the Visitation; and times growing so very bad, that there was small hopes of admittance againe into their places upon ould Conformity, Mr Bridge tooke his degree per saltum, from a reputed Conformitant in the Church of England, and might have continued so till this present Parlia∣ment, (for ought I know) to fall suddenly into the Church-way, without long seeing, or looking into the darke part or inquiring into the light part of Church-worship and government, as that Page  18 short space between his suspension at Norwich, and his being re∣ceived into a Church at Rotterdam, and thereupon his fierce Let∣ters to some of his old friends in Norwich to come from the Church of England, will fully show, by which it is manifest, * the sinfull evils of those Ceremonies tooke not hold upon Mr Bridge, and Mr Burroughs consciences till suspensions for Bi∣shop Wrens Innovations first took hold of them.

'Tis confest the refusing of the Ceremonies in the places you were setled in, was enough to deprive you of the publike exercise of your Ministeries in those places: Especially considering the using of the Ceremonies could not preserve some of you from suspensions; But the refusing of the Innovations, was matter enough to silence you there: But whether the simple forbearing of the Ceremonies (especially having left your places, and not taken others) was enough to deprive you of your personall par∣ticipation in some Ordinances, and further exposed you, either to personall violence and persecution, or an exile to avoid it, that I much doubt, and am no way satisfied: Considering, notwithstan∣ding the watchfulnesse of those times, that many non-conformists did injoy, not only some, but a personall participation in all the Ordinances of Worship, (as we use to speake:) namely, Word, Prayer, Sacraments, singing of Psalmes: and that in some good degree of peace (so as to be kept out of the High-commission Court, and prisons) and were not put upon a necessity of exile: And how ever, they resolved to venture some persecution, and vi∣olence to doe God some service in their own Countrey, rather then to leave the Land, and desert the cause of God here, and so give it up wholly, (as it were) to the enemy: If all others had done as you five, according to an ordinary way, what had become of this Kingdome? But besides this I remember some of you, as Mr Good∣win and Mr Nye, after ye fell off from the Ceremonies, did for some space so long as you saw no farther then the darke part, par∣take in the Ordinances here, and in that of the Lords Supper too, without kneeling: and Mr Nye's children were baptized without the signe of the Crosse: and in the sixt page of this Apologie you acknowledge, that some of you, even after you actually were in this way of communion, baptized your children in Parishonall Page  19 Congregations; which I suppose you would not have done with∣out liberty, from the evill of those superstitions annexed to the worship of God: And further, for some three yeares space after Mr Goodwin and Mr Nye, saw the darke part, (nay, after some good time they saw the light part,) they stayed in the Kingdome, and were both of them publike enough, and preached sometimes, yet free from personall violence and persecution, and needed not for any personall persecution or violence they were under to have left the Kingdome: And so Mr Burroughs, what ever his judgement was after his suspension about the darke part and the light part, was free and safe in the Kingdome till for some spee∣ches spoken about the Scottish Warre in some company not to be trusted, he for feare thereof fled in all haste to Rotterdam. So that these things stumble me at the truth of these particulars, that you needed not have chosen for the bare refusing the Ceremonies, that which you so often terme Exile and Banishment to enjoy the Or∣dinances, and to avoide personall violence and persecution. But, how ever this is held out as a fine story to the Reader, yet to me, there are other Reasons seeme more probable (which you thought good in your wisedomes to conceale) which made you chuse that which you so affect to call Exile, namely, that you might enjoy all the Ordinances of Christ, (as you use to speake) whereof some of them the Reformed Churches have not, and that in your Church-way of separated Assemblies (which is imply'd by you in the close of this Section) as also, that you might have some maintenance by the people that went over with you, and still hoped upon the bad times in England to draw over more, which according to the good old non-conformists principles you could not doe: As also, that you might secure your selves from all possibility and feare of persecutions, be certainely safe upon the shore whilst your bre∣thren were at sea sea in the storme.

This being our condition, we were cast upon a farther necessity*of enquiring into and viewing the light part, the positive partof Church-worship and government; And to that end to search out what were the first Apostolique directions, patterne and examples of those Primitive Churches recorded in the New Testament, as that sacred pillar of fire to guide us. And in this enquire we Page  20 lookt upon the word of Christ as impartially, and unprejudicedly, as men made of flesh and blood are like to doe in any juncture of time that may fall out; the places we went to, the condition we were in, the company we went forth with, affording no temptations to byas us any way, but leaving us as freely to be guided by that light and touch Gods Spirit should by the word vouchsafe our con∣sciences, as the Needle toucht with the Load-stone is in the Com∣passe: And we had (of all men) the greatest reason to be true to our own consciences in what we should embrace, seeing it was for our consciences that we were deprived at once of what ever was deare to us. We had no new Common-wealths to reare, to frame Church-government unto, whereof any one piece might stand in the others light, to cause the least variation by us from the Primitive pattern; we had no State-ends or Politicall interests to comply with; No Kingdoms in our •…ye to subdue unto our mould; (which yet will be coexsistent with the peace of any forme of Civill Government on earth:) No prefenment or worldly respects to shape our opinions for: we had nothing else to doe but simply and singly to consider how to worship God accep∣tably, and so most according to his word.

This being our condition, must relate to what goes before, which I judge from the literall and gramaticall sense can be no other but this: That falling from the Ceremonies, which was enough to deprive you of your Ministeries, and the participation of some Ordinances, and further exposed you to violence or exile to avoide it, which latter of exile you chusing rather for the ends specified, that put you upon a necessity of enquiring into and viewing the light part, the positive part of Church-worship and Government; Which words seeme to carry this sense that upon your chusing exile, you fell upon enquiring into the light part, and not before, and all the understanding Readers, whom I have spoken with about this passage, take them so: But because you doe not positively say so, and your words may have some evasion; and I would not fasten any thing on you, as said by you in this book that you affirme not; Let me put to you, for the understan∣ding your minds, this question, Whether you take chusing an Exile, for, your resolution and purpose when you should see Page  21 convenient time to leave the Land; (and not for your actuall lea∣ving the Kingdome;) and so fell upon enquiring and viewing the positive part of Church-worship and Government; and to that end to search out what were the first Apostolique directions recor∣ded in the New Testament, whilst you were in the Kingdome? Or else, Whether after you were come into Holland, and so actual∣ly were Exiles, then you were cast upon the enquiring into the light part? Now if you meane, these words, in the first sense, and that the Reader must understand them so; which I must tell you (as it is a very harsh sense, and for a Narration to speake so doubtfully, is not faire,) so all your discourse following upon it in the 3, 4, 5, 6, 7 page is vaine, and to no purpose to work that in the minds of the Reader which you drive at: Besides there are many passages in those pages cannot admit of such a sense, but plainely referre to your being in Holland; as, those words, The places we went to, the condition we were in, the company we went forth with; and we had of all men the greatest reason to be true to our own con∣sciences in what we should embrace, seeing it was for our con∣sciences that we were deprived at once of what ever was deare to us; with many other like passages: But if you meane the words in the second sense, as the coherence and scope of the discourse go∣ing before and following, carry it; namely, that when you were in Exile, then you began to search out the positive part of Church-worship and Government; let me propound my reasons, why I doe not beleeve it, but doe judge, that most of you (if not all) were upon the light part, and in the Church-way in your judge∣ments before your leaving England, and so when you came over needed no great search into it. In the sixt page you speake ex∣pressely, that some of you were actually in this way of commu∣nion, and after that baptized your children in Parishonall Congre∣gations; which words there exprest must of necessity referre to England before your going over, and cannot be understood whilst you were in Holland or since your returne into England, unlesse you meane things quite otherwise then you speake. And that you were beyond the darke part, the evill of those superstitions adjoyned to the worship of God, (which have been the common stumbling∣block of many thousand tender consciences, which cannot be Page  22 understood but of the Ceremonies and some corruptions in the Lyturgy) let me besides your own confession in the sixt page, put these questions to your consciences, and in your answer deny them if you can.

1. Whether some of you whilst you were in England, did not for a long time, wholly forbeare comming to the Lyturgy, and com∣ming to the Lords Supper at all in our Congregations, because of the prescribed forme of Prayer, and mixt Communion?

2. Whether one of you five told not some friends that he had found out a forme of Church-government as farre beyond M Cart∣wrights, as his was beyond that of Bishops?

3. Whether another of you had not so much declared his judge∣ment against the lawfulnesse of set formes of prayer prescribed, as thereupon, at the request of some great persons of worth, Mr Ball (now with God) had not a conference and dispute with him at Mr Knightlyes upon it? And whether the same person residing near Banbury did not both by preaching and otherways vent many things against prescribed formes of prayer, and Communicating in our assemblies, so that the Countrey thereabouts was much disturbed, and that painfull preacher Mr Wheateley (now with God) much grieved by the falling off and withdrawing of some?

4. Whether also, one of these Apologists, was not so farre gone in the principles of the new Church-way, as that he would not be * married by Ministers, but deferred marriage till he came into Hol∣land, where presently after his comming he was married, (not in the way of the Reformed Churches there,) but by the Magi∣strates according to the way of the Brownists, as it is laid down in Robinsons Apologie?

5. I aske, What some of you, whose Names are to this Apolo∣gie, with other Ministers of your way (who are now with God) with some Gentlemen, did at Missendon in Buckingham-shiere, the winter and spring before you went into Holland, and whether that company which went over with you into Holland were not engaged in the Church-way, and principles before you left Eng∣land? And I aske, how long it was, when once you came to Vi∣ana, where you setled for a time, before you practised your Church-way? Whether you tooke any long time of searching∣out Page  23 what were the first Apostolique directions, before you fell to the practise of it? I deny not but you might adde somethings to your Church-way after your comming over; and had you stayed there till this time you had added with a witnesse: of which I shall speake more afterwards.

6. If Mr Bridge carried not the positive part over with him, I aske, whether upon the change of the ayre presently after his com∣ming over, without any great time of searching out what were the first Apostoilque directions, he were not admitted a member in the Church-way, and then chosen one of the Ministers of that Church at Rotterdam, And whether Mr Burroughs, flying over for words spoken, was not quickly admitted into the Church at Rotterdam? So that, if these instances be true, here was no great time of enquiring and viewing, after Exile, before you fell to pra∣ctise; nor no great time allotted to search out what were the first Apostolique directions, patterne and examples of those Pri∣mitive Churches recorded in the New-Testament. And to put it past question that you were resolved of your Chu•…-way be∣fore you left England, (at least Mr Goodwin and Mr Nye) I have a Letter by me under Mr Archers hand the Pastour of their Church, dated Septemb. 12, 1637. which was about six weekes after lan∣ding, (for in another Letter from him to me, he writes, I landed Iuly 27.) wherein he writes thus in way of an answer to a pas∣sage in a Letter of mine dated August 23. concerning his being in the Church-way; As for your judgement and the worke you are about, I heard of it before: and have not so long stood by afflicted, soberly and conscientiously ta search out the truth, but have throughly seene into the bottome of it, in such a measure, as I am confident that in the end you will all come to us, and not we to you: And in the same Letter he speakes of all with him to be of the same judgement, which fully shewes their engagement before they came to Holland.

But as to that Dilemma, whether before your going into Hol∣land, or whether afterwards you fell upon the positive part of Church-worship and Government; it matters not much in refe∣rence to that which followes upon it: for even that which is gran∣ted by you without any question, namely, your stumbling at the Page  24 Ceremonies; and thereupon chusing Exile to avoide the possible hazard of personall violence and persecution, which put you upon necessity of enquiring into the light part, hath much in it of selfe to byas, and to draw you to that way of Worship and Government in which you are in, that so you might be provided for, well and comfortably in your Exile with company and maintenance; (which only could be in these principles of your Church-way) for according to the non-conformists-principles you could not have drawne any over, nor set up your Church-way: and I should in reason have thought, that had you been free and not cast upon this necessity by chusing Exile, (as my selfe and others were) in the studying of these points, (though in as much danger from the Prelaticall faction as your-selves) you might more impartially and without preingagement have seen the truth: for it is too often seen, that necessity is ingens telum, and drawes aside often the judgement and practises of good and wise men: and so might doe yours: And therefore you must pardon me if I question whe∣ther in your enquiry into the first Apostolique directions, you lookt upon the word of Christ as impartially and unprejudicedly as men made of flesh and blood are like to doe in any juncture of time that may fall out: I judge, the Reformers in the Reformed Churches of Geneva, Scotland, &c. upon many reasons, (some * whereof are hinted by the Commissioners of the Church of Scot∣land) were like to looke more impartially, and without prejudice upon the word of Christ, then you; they were not forced to fall on their Church-government, by a necessity of Exile, but having lear∣ned it from the word, some of them suffered Exile for it: and others resolved to hazard the utmost for it, not upon every feare and imagination, forsaking their people and countrey; but resol∣ving to doe the will of God, and to promote his cause in their own countrey what ever it cost them: And besides the first Reformers, I beleeve there be many in these times, who studying these points have looked more impartially upon Church-government and disci∣pline, and been freer from engagements and worldly respects then your selves: and when I weigh the Reasons intimated of your impartiality, and free guidance by the Spirit, I am no way satisfied, but they serve all to afford temptations to byas you that way you are in.

Page  25 As 1. For the Company you went forth with, both men and women were principled and ingaged in the Church-way, and the company some of you went to, being in the open practise of it: And 2. As for the Places you went to, namely, Holland, that gives liberty of conscience, and toleration to sundry Sects, which is an invitation to errours; So that you had certainty of enjoying your way there: 3. As for the Condition you were in, (which is be∣fore specified,) so besides one of you was not willing, for some reasons he knowes best, to live wholly upon his wives meanes, and so needed a Church to allow him maintenance: Another being in debt: A third forced to fly for feare of severe punishment for words spoken left you not as freely to be guided by that light and touch Gods Spirit should by the word vouch safe your consciences as the Needle toucht with the Loadstone is in the Compasse: So that if these circumstances be well considered; with some others of the like nature; the doore of hopes, being shut up here, of your publike Ministery, and the meanes of livelihood to most of you, and without holding and maintaining these principles, there being no way of having Churches, whether it is not more probable, you being men made of flesh and blood, (as that you confesse your selves) and having hearts deceitfull as well as other men, may be partiall in this relation of your selves, and the temptations of com∣pany, place, condition draw you strongly, though you thought it not. But before I passe to other Reasons exprest by you in this page, I cannot passe over the high and great words of your selves, namely, In this enquiry we lookt upon the word of Christ as im∣partially, and unprejudicedly, as men made of flesh and blood are like to doe in any juncture of time that may fall out: the places we went to, the condition we were in, the company we went forth with affording no temptation to by as us any way, but leaving us as freely to be guided by that light and touch Gods Spirit should by the word vouchsafe our consciences, as the Needle toucht with the Loadstone is in the compasse.

Brethren, it had been more humility and modesty to have suspe∣cted your selves, and to have prefer'd in honour, others before your selves, and it had been more agreeable to the counsell of the Holy Ghost, not to have thus extold your selves: Who are you? And Page  26 what are you? that you should affirme all this of your selves: The Apostles St Paul, Peter, Iames and Iohn, would not have spoken these words of themselves: and indeed, some of the words doe more suite the condition of Angells, and the spirits of just men made perfect, then men on earth subject to like passions as other men: What! your condition, &c. afford no temptation, to by at you any way, but leaving you so freely, &c. 'Tis such: a piece of selfe-flattery and pride, that hardly the Popes-parasites have in the sense of these words exceeded: The great lights of the Church in the first Reformation, Luther, Calvin, Knox, &c. would have blusht to have had these lines affirmed of them, much more to have been spoken by themselves: but how meanely soever you may think of the Reformers before you, in comparison of your selves (as some passages in your Apologie imply) yet how know you who may come after you to excell you as much in light, as you judge you doe the Reformers that went before you, that you speake of the time that may fall out, and is yet to come: can you foresee what men are like to doe in aftertimes. As for that ex∣presse reason: You had of all men the greatest reason to be true to your own consciences in what you should imbrace, seeing it was for your consciences that you were deprived at once of what ever was deare to you: In which passage, you intimate your great sufferings above other men, as if you above others had the greatest reason to be true to your consciences, they not suffering like you: I must tell you, I know some men, that for God and his truth suffered more in England then all you five, and all your Churches put together did in Holland; who yet were against your Church-way. And for this reason, there is little strength or truth in it: and the for∣mer part of it is as likely to be true as the latter: Let me sadly put the question to you: How dare you affirme, that for your con∣sciences you were deprived at once of what ever was deare to you I Were not your wives, children, estates, friends and lives deare to you? Had you not all these with you 〈◊〉 and did you not in the Netherlands live in the best places, in much plenty, ease and pompe? But what great deprivation at once is this, of what ever is deare? for men to take their own times, and to goe in Summer time with Knights, Ladyes and Gentlewomen with all necessaries Page  27 into Holland, and there to take choice of all the Land where to re∣side, and with wives, children, in the midst of friends and ac∣quaintance, free from the feares, and possibilities of vexations of the Spirituall Courts and Prisons, to injoy all plenty and freedome, as you did? There are many would have been glad, and still would be of such a deprivation at once, as to be so Exiled into Hol∣land, to be able to spend, two, or three hundred pounds per annum there. And I must here mind one of you, in whose Name this rea∣son is brought, that this cannot be affirmed of him, that for his conscience he was deprived at once of what ever was deare to him, seeing he fled into Holland for words about State matters. As for those other Reasons following: You had no now Common-wealths to neare, to frame Church-government unto, you had no State ends, or poloticall interests to comply with; no Kingdom•… in your eye to subdue unto your mould; no preferment or worldly respects to shape your opinions for. Suppose all this to be true which you say, (which yet, I for my part, upon good reasons doubt) what will you build upon it; What followes, that there∣fore you must alone be in the right for Church-government? 'tis denied, it no way followes: for many of the poore Anabaptists and Brownists had no new Common-wealths to reare, not so ma∣ny State ends, and politicall interests to comply with, as you (as upon good reason, and the experience of you here, all men will grant:) and yet you confesse the Anabaptists and rigid Brownists are out of the way. And besides, had not many of the first Re∣formers, * (as the Commissioners of the Church of Scotland well observe) as few Common-wealths to reare, as few State-ends, or policicall interests to comply with, as you? Nay, are not some of you greater States-men, and polititians, and looke more to pre∣ferment and worldly respects, then ever they did? And are there not amongst us in these times, men differing from your Church-way, that eye Common-wealths, State-ends, and politicall inte∣rests as little as you doe? why then is all this brought in by you▪ quorsum haec? to what end is all this, with the preceding passage, but to insinuate with the people as if you alone were the men that lookt so impartially and •…prejudicedly on the word; as if you alone had no State-ends, nor politicall interests, no•…〈◊〉 pre∣ferments Page  28 in your eye; and therefore in searching into the word have found out the right way: but other men, not having suffered as you, and having State-ends and worldly preferments to looke to, &c. they are out of the way. But, as I said, I doubt concerning all these grounds given by you: You had new Common-wealths to reare; to frame Church-goverment unto, when you first fell to these principles; namely, the new Common-wealth of New-England to frame your Church-government unto, where some of you were first bound in your thoughts and purposes (as you well know,) and I shall make more evident in a follow∣ing page: And therefore the Church-government there might stand in your light when you first enquired into the Church-way; and might cause some variation by you from the Primitive pat∣terne, namely, to looke too much to that where you thought to have Ministery and Subsistence: You had also, some ends, and in∣terests, and worldly respects to comply with in your going into Holland, rather then New-England which you first intended: and these may fitly be termed State-ends, and politicall interests, namely •…at when some great persons, Lords and others should be forced, through the badnesse of the times, (as was expected and feared) to seek for shelter in Providence, and Hispani•…la, you might be there ready to remoove with them, and be taken along into those Countreyes, where you hoped to set up new Churches, and subdue those Countreyes and people which should come over, into your mould. Or if otherwise things in England should come to have a great turne, (as they had by this Parliament) then also by being in Holland rather then New-England, you were nigh hand, and your estates more at command, quickly to returne to England, having this Kingdome in your eye, hoping you might either subdue England into the way of your Church-gover•…ent; or else gaine a great party to you 〈◊〉 the Kingdome, (which we see is unhappily fallen out:) And 〈◊〉, all the State-ends and interests to come, which you might lo•…ke upon in your remoo∣ving to Holland, there were worldly r•…spects and interests for the present, to make you goe in the Chur•…-way (as I have be∣fore observed.) And to all these, whereas yo•… make the having no new-Common-wealths, no Kingdomes to eye, to frame Church-government Page  29 unto; as the ground of falling upon the right way; Let it be considered by you and the Reader, that the framing of a Church-government according to the conjunction of a few godly persons, either in a Plantation, or as strangers in a Common-wealth; * and not considering of a Church-government for Na∣tions and Kingdomes, that when Kingdomes and Nations doe re∣ceive the faith, and the Magistrates are Christians and Orthodox, that there must be a Church-government as for a Nation and Kingdome; is that very thing that deceives you: there being, alia ratio urbis ac orbis, and so a great difference of governing a family two or three, or of a Towne, and of governing a Nation and Kingdome. But as for that Parenthesis you make, before you end this Section; (That your Governement will b•… co∣existent with the peace of any forme of Civill Governme•… on earth,) out of the great care you have, least your Church-g•…n∣ment should suffer in the thoughts of many; (that it is not consi∣stent with the peace of Civill-government) 'tis so farre from truth, that your Government and Church-way cannot stand with the peace of any forme of Civill government; no not with De∣mocraticall government, much lesse Aristocraticall; or Monarchi∣call: but should it be but tolerated, much more established, as the government in a Kingdome and Nation; we should quickly find the contrary with a witnesse. In this Intervall of Church-government we feele (without a formall toleration of it) woefull effects opposite to the peace and good of civill government: And I desire to know from you, how you will proove it, and we shall be assured of it, (for we dare not take your bare word; (seeing that never yet any Kingdome, or Nation entertained your Church-way and government, there being yet no experiment of it, which of the Presbyteriall goverment hath been in Kingdomes and Common-wealths this fourescore yeares. And I must tell you that in New-England (which yet was farre from being a Kingdome and Na∣tion) when they began to multiply and encrease, this government had like to have ruined them, both in Church and Common-wealth: and had they not enterposed, (and since doe daily) the power of the Magistrate, and many suitable principles to the Pres∣byteriall way, they had been ruined before this: and what yet will Page  30 be the issue (unlesse they fall off more and more from their Inde∣pendency) a little time will shew, and there are Letters from thence complaining of the confusions of necessity depending on that government.

We were not engaged by Education or otherwise to any other of*the Reformed Churches; And although we consulted with re∣verence what they hold forth both in their writings and practis•…, yet we could not but suppose that they might not see into all things about worship and Government, their intentions being most spent (as also of our first Reformers in England) upon the Reforma∣tion in Doctrine, in which they had a most happy hand: And 〈◊〉 had with many others observed, that although the exercise of that Government had been accompanied with more peace, yet the pra∣cticall part, the power of godlinesse and the profession thereof, with difference from carnall and formall Christians, had not bee•… advanced and held forth among them, as in this our Island, as them∣selves have generally acknowledged. We had the advantage of all that light which the conflicts of our own Divines (the good old Non-conformists) had struck forth in their times; And the draughts of Discipline which they had drawn; which we found not in all things, the very same with the practises of the Refor∣med Churches; And •…hat they had written came much more commended to us, not only because they were our own, but be∣cause sealed with their manifold and bitter sufferings. We had likewise the fat•…ll miscarriages and ship-wracks of the Separation (whom ye call Brownists) as Land-marks to forewarne us of th•…se rocks and shelves they ran upon; which also did put us upon an inquirie into the principles that might be the causes of their divisions. Last of all, We had the recent and later example of the wayes and practises (and those improved to a better Edition and greater refinement, by all the fore-mentioned helps) of those multitudes of godly men of our own Nation, almost to the number of another Nation, and among them some as holy and judicio•… Divines as this Kingdome hath bred; whose sincerity in the•… way hath been testified before all the world, and will be to all ge∣nerations to come, by the greatest undertaking (but that of our father Abraham out of his own Countrey, and his s•…ed after him) Page  31 a transplanting themselves many thousand miles distance, and and that by sea, into a wildernesse, meerely to worship God more purely, whither to allure them there could be no other invitement. And yet we still stood as vnengaged spectators, free to examine and consider what truth is to be found in and amongst all these, (all which we looke upon as Reformed Churches) and this na∣kedly according to the word; We resolved not to take up our Re∣ligion by or from any party, and yet to approve and hold fast what∣soever is good in any, though never so much differing from us, yea orposite unto us.]

It may be if you had been engaged by Education, or otherwise to any other of the Reformed Churches, that you had seen the order, and peace in some of the Reformed Churches; and had you con∣versed with them before you drunke in these opinions; you had never been transported with them in opposition to so many most worthy Churches: but to what end is this brought in, with all those particulars newly mentioned in the foregoing page; (We had, we had,) with that passage in the close of the last Section: We had nothing else to doe but simply and singly to consider how to worship God acceptably and so most according to his word? unlesse to insin•…ate, and to cast an aspersion upon all others, they had so and so; and they were engaged by Education and other∣wise: (a fine R•…hetoricall way of casting blemishes upon all o∣thers, and freeing your selves) as much as in plaine English to say, That State-ends, politicall interests, preferments and world∣ly respects, ingagements by Education, and such like; with the streame of publike interest, might beare all others down, that they should not find out the truth: but you, alas! good men, so f•…e from having any thing to doe in this world, or regarding worldly preferments, or hanging upon great persons, that you must needs find out the truth. But as you would bring Education in, and con∣versing with the Reformed Churches, as the by as to draw many to the Presbyteriall way; So let me tell you, though you were no•… engaged any way to the Reformed Churches of Europe, yet you were many wayes to the Reformed Churches of New-England▪ and to some prime m•…n in New-England, by a high admiration of them. One of you (more especially) was so e•…aged in his high Page  32 thoughts of one of the Ministers of New-England, (by whom also, I am sure he was first taken off the darke part) that he hath said, there was not such another man in the world againe: Which Minister, after his going into New-England, and falling into the Church-way there, and sending over Letters into England, about the New-way; presently after these Letters, began the falling off, and questioning Communion in our Churches: and before these Letters were sent into England, and the coppies of them com∣municated to divers; I never by discourse with any of you, nor from others, heard, that you were fallen into the Church-way. As for your consulting with reverence what the Reformed Chur∣ches held forth, both in their writings and practice, that could be no long time, (as appeares by what I have before prooved,), and besides, the short time you tooke to consult of Church-govern∣ment and worship after your landing in Holland, there are many passages in this Apologie shew no great reverence towards them: and if a man should guesse of your reverence to the Churches of Scotland and France by many of your way both Ministers and people, what they speake of Presbyteriall government, and of those Churches; he would conclude it were very little: But these good words of the Reformed Churches, are to make way for a back-blow to those Churches, and to get some advantage still to your own way, namely, that you could not but suppose that they might not see into all things about worship and government, their intentions being most spent upon the Reformation in Doctrine, &c. And why may not I suppose the same thing of Mr Goodwin Mr Nye, and the rest of you? that you may not see into all things about worship and government; for if they might not, then much more not you, they excelling you in piety, learning, sufferings, yeares: But suppose the Reformed Churches at first might not, yet considering that it is now, above fourescore yeares, since go∣vernment and worship was purged (as well as Reformation in Doctrine, which you say was so well setled at first) and since, so many questions and controversies having risen about Worship and Government in their Churches and ours; as about Morelius, and about the Anabaptists and Brownists; and of late the Indepen∣dents: and these differences having been debated in Synods and Page  33 Assemblies, having heard and seen all they could say against Pres∣byteriall government, and what could be said for themselves; if either they or you, had the truth on your sides; what reason can you give, why they should not see into it upon so much enquity, study and dispute, the Reformed Churches being more free to entertaine truths, and change somewhat in their Discipline then you were in your first entertaining this New-way? For example, The Churches of France, living under persecution for their Reli∣gion, and the truth of God, if your way had any truth in it, it were all one for matter of persecution to receive yours as their own. As to that passage in this Section, concerning the good old non∣conformists, that you say, We had the advantage of all that light which their conflicts struck forth in their times, &c, I answer, a great part of their light, as in Mr Cartwright, Mr Hildersham, &c. was against the Separatists and their practises (as their writings testifie,) as well as against the Diocesan Bishops and Ceremonies: and it had been happy for you and this Kingdome, that you had made better use of their light, and of their draughts of Discipline; the Reformation had been more easie, and the god∣ly party more united, and the common enemy had never concei∣ved such hopes and taken such heart as he does from your opinions. And what ever you say, it seemes, that a great part of what the good old non-conformists writ, came not much commended to you, (though your own, and for all their sufferings) because you follow it no better.

As to that passage, about the Separation (following the passage of the Non-conformists) It is well, you (acknowledge that the Se∣paration had fatall miscarriages, and ship-wracks in their way: and it was well you tooke such notice of them, that you counted them as Land-markes to fore war•…e you of those rocks and shelves they ran upon: and that thereupon you did enquire into the principles that might be the causes of their divisions: this is one of the best passages in your book: (As there are foure passages (among so many bad) that are good and usefull: One of the Parliament: A second of the Assembly of Divines: The third, this of the Se∣paratists: The fourth, a Description of many of the Pro•…torus, and people of this Kingdome:) But it had been better, you had, Page  34 made so good a use of this observation and enquirie in Gods visibly witnessing from Heaven against the Separation, in giving them up to fearfull sins, in inflicting fearfull judgements, and leaving them to strange divisions (which your selves allude to in this passage) and you know was in the stories of Browne, Bolton, Barrow, Smith, Iohnsons, &c. so as to have kept further from their prin∣ciples; and thereupon to have feared forsaking communion with our Churches, and setting up Separated Assemblies, and agreeing so much with them in most of the fundamentall and essentiall prin∣ciples and practises, and not to have come so nigh to them against whom God witnessed by so many fatall miscarriages and ship-wracks, as only to resine and qualifie Brownisme, and to spinne it of a finer thred then the old Separatists did. But let me here put this Dilemma to you: Seeing the Separatists fatall miscarriages and ship-wracks, did put you upon an enquiry into the principles and causes of their divisions; upon the enquiry either you found out and discovered those principles, or you did not: If you did not discover them, why doe you insert these words here, and carry it so to make the Reader beleeve as if you had: and that you declined the rocks and shelves they ran upon: But if you did discover those principles of the Brownists, which were the causes of their divi∣sions; why doe you passe them over in silence? In this Apologe∣ticall Narration you make many a parenthesis, and addition to what you are speaking of, nothing so materiall nor proper to the points in hand (for example, In that passage immediately fol∣lowing these words, you lanch out into the high praises of New-England in many lines) as the laying downe those principles, which are the causes of the Brownists divisions, would have been: So that I much wonder (if you found them out) that you past them over in silence, for these might have been of great use to the Separatists themselves for the time to come, and of great use to have preserved others from Brownisme who are inclining that way, besides the benefit to your own party by looking upon them to prevent the like fatall miscarriages and ship-wracks in their way: so that I know not how this omission of yours can be excused. Besides, how came it to passe, that you who are the Au∣thours of this Apologie, and your Churches made no better an use Page  35 of all your enquiry and discovery? but in the time you were abroad to fall into the same fatall miscarriages and ship-wracks, name∣ly the same divisions and sins; nay, greater and worse then some of the Separatists Churches did; (as ever I heard.) For proofe whereof I have been informed both by word of mouth and Letters from good hands of these following particulars.

In Holland there were but two Churches of your way and com∣munion, one of which was at Rotterdam where Mr Bridge and Mr Sympson were members, and afterwards Mr Burroughs: which Church of Rotterdam (like the old Separatists at Amsterdam) split into two; Mr Sympson at first, and some others after him renting themselves from Mr Bridges Church to the great offence thereof; Mr Sympson setting up a new-Church, Mr White the Merchant and his wife only at first joyning with him: Mr Symp∣sons Church being founded by a woman, (Mr Bridge himselfe heretofore telling me so, and calling Mrs White the Foundresse of that Church.) And after this great rent, and setting up a Church against a Church under Mr Bridges nose, Mr Ward, Mr Bridges colleague, and old friend at Norwich was deposed from his Mini∣stery and office, for frivolous matters and some differences by Mr Bridges Church: And here if I should but relate all the maine passages that fell out between these Ministers and their Churches, after this Renting and Deposition within the space of a yeare fol∣lowing, namely the Letters sent into England, each for them∣selves, and against each other; all the stories told of one another; and all the bitternesses and revilings between the Churches of Mr Bridge and Mr Sympsons; with the desperate scandalls and reproaches cast out (especially upon Mr Bridge;) the Readers eares would tingle, and I should be too long; especially, because I must touch upon this string againe when I come to that story re∣lated in the Apologie, page 16. The other Church was first at Via∣na, then at Arnhim, of which Mr Goodwin and Mr Nye were Teachers, concerning which Church, if I should but relate all the strange conceits and opinions held, and practised in that Church, (besides some preach't) even before Mr Goodwins and Mr Nye's comming back to England, with all the differences and divisions that fell out; I should make this answer too large: I will for the Page  36 present relate these few passages, reserving the rest till I put out a•… Rejoinder upon their Reply to this Answer. Anointing the sick▪ with oyle was held in that Church of Arnhim, as a standing or∣dinance for Church members, (for others had no right to that ordinance) as laying on of hands was a standing ordinance for Church Officers: There was a writing amongst them in many hands, prooving it to be so, and there were some cases propoun∣ded, with what oyle the sicke members of the Church were to▪ be anointed, and there was a resolution of the case, namely with Olive oyle. A copy of this writing some Ministers of the Assem∣bly have perused, and one of them hath it amongst his papers in the Countrey. Mr Goodwin▪ did anoint a Gentlewoman (whose name I conceale) when she was sick, and she recovered after it (they say.) A Gentleman of note in that Church, (one of those two so much commended in the twentieth page of this book, for wisedome and piety,) did propound in the Church, that sin∣ging of Hymnes was an ordinance, (which is that any person of the Congregation exercising their own gifts, should bring a•… Hymne and sing it in the Congregation, all the rest being silent and giving audience;) now upon the propounding of this, another Gentleman did oppose it, (as not judging it an ordinance:) to whom the for∣mer Gentleman replied, that he destroyed in opposing this, what he had built up: whereupon words passing between them, a dif∣ference grew between these two Gentlemen; and this second Gentleman was complained of to the Church by the first: and up∣on hearing the whole businesse, and all words that past between them, this second Gentleman was censured by the Church, and Mr Nye charged sin upon him: (that was the phrase) in many par∣ticulars, and still at the end of every charge Mr Nye repeated, This wis your sin: After, this censure so solemnly done, the Gen∣tleman censured, brings in Accusations against Mr Nye in severall Artiles, charging him with pride, want of charity, &c▪ in the manner of the censure; And this being brought before the Church, continued in debate about halfe a yeare, three, or foure dayes in a weeke, and sometimes more before all the Congregation: divers, of the members having callings to follow, they desired to have leave to be absent: Mr Goodwin of•… profest publikely upon these Page  37 differences, if this were their Church-fellowship he would lay downe his Eldership; and nothing was more commonly spoke among the members, then that certainely for matter of Discipline, they were not in the right way, for that there was no way of bringing things to an end: At last, after more then halfe a yeares debate, not being able to bring these differences to an end, and be∣ing to come into England, they had their last meeting about it, to agree not to publish it abroad when they came into England, hoping that God would give some opportunity when they came into England to make an end of it, which whether it be ended yet. I doubt much, because of some speeches reported to me spoken by one of these persons concerning the other two: Now if this Church of Arnhim, consisting of Ministers, moderate and wise, standing upon their credits and reputations, and of prime Gentle∣men, and pick't Christians, being in exile, and leaving all for their consciences (as they say) doe yet run into such strange conceits, and breake among themselves thus, what can be expected of Inde∣pendent Churches here, that may consist of raw and fiery spirited men, and of the vulgar and all kind of spirits?

But before I leave this passage of yours concerning the Separa∣tion, pray let me aske you the reason of this Parenthesis, and to whom you speake it, (whom ye call Brownists?) and why could you not have writ, who are commmonly called Brownists? Is it not to both the Houses of Parliament to whom this Apologie is presented, and to whom you appeale? your discourse being carri∣ed as spoken to them; and does not this phrase of speech carry with it a secret checke of the Houses for calling the Separatists Brow∣nists, calling them so, as you would not call them? But who are you, that you may not speake (for so much as concernes this) in the language of both Houses? if both Houses call them Brownists, Why may not you Five terme them so? but, we may guesse the Reason, Mr Browne and your Principles are too nigh a kinde, and you feared, lest you might be called so: but let me tell you, though the Reformed Churches may not be called disgracefully Calvini∣ans, (as the Commissioners of the Church of Scotland have well * observed in their late book) yet the Separatists, and all Sectaries, may fitly be termed from the Authours, and so the Separatists, Page  38 justly called Brownists, because as he was one of the first Leaders in that way; so he was the first that digested that way into forme and method, and writ so for it: and the first that visibly and open∣ly drew so many out of this Kingdome beyond the Seas: and therefore both Houses of Parliament, and others too, may truly terme those who goe in Brownes-way, Brownists.

As for that last passage in this Section, that last of all, We had the recent and la•…er example of the wayes and practises of those multitudes of godly men of our own Nation, &c. which (without so many words) you might have said New-England; but that on purpose you would take an occasion of extolling them to the Hea∣vens, and so render both your selves and way in them more glori∣ous both to the Parliament and people into whose hands your Apologie should come. Sure, you might more truly and ingeni∣ously have put them in the first place, and have writ, First of all, We had the recent and later example of New-England; which wrought (to my knowledge) with some of you very much: and that the purposes and intentions of some of you, were first for New-England (as you may remember some of you told me.) One of you marrying a wife in reference to your going to New-Eng∣land; and how farre he was hindered, or altered by her death, he knowes. Another of you, having sent over goods before, (and in particular) books, where he meant to follow after. (I have a very bad memory if these things be not so.) A third, (namely, Mr Simp∣son) when he desired his dismission from that Church at Rotter∣dam, he alleadged that as a cause, that he was intended for New-England: but I must examine the Encomium, made by you here, of New-England, and see whether to make it hold, the words must not have the allowance of that figure in Rhetorick called Hyper∣bole: the first part of the praise is, Multitudes of godly men of our own Nation, almost to the number of another Nation. Are the godly men in New-England so many in number, that they are almost the number of another Nation, that they doe almost make such another Nation as England? then New-England hath more godly persons in it then old England; for the multitudes of godly persons amongst us, are not almost so many here, as to make ano∣ther Nation: but it will be found, that granting, all the men in Page  39 New-England were godly (which yet you dare not affirme) seeing multitudes live there without the Church, who are not accounted visible Saints) yet what are they to so many people as are in Eng∣land? reckon up all the persons in New-England, good and bad, and list them, and they will be found not to come almost to the number of the Nation that lives in London; nay, hardly to come to the twentieth part there: What are they then in New-England to this whole Kingdome? and then doe but substract all that are not of their Church, and it is evident your affection is better to New-England then your Arithmeticke, and in this particular, that Proverbe of Almost must help you: But shall I give you the reason of this stretching here? 'Tis to possesse the Parliament and King∣dome what a great party you have for your Church-way, Almost another Nation in New-England, and Almost another Nation of your way in old England, which may serve to ballance your oppo∣site party of Presbytery in England and Scotland; and therefore the Parliament shall doe well to take notice of your Numbers, to grant you a Toleration (at least) of your Church-way, lest you be∣ing such multitudes should, &c. I could tell stories, what some of your way have spoken, if they might not have their way; but I shall spare them now. The second part of your praise of New-England is, And among them some as holy and judicious Divines as this Kingdome hath bred: That there are holy and good Di∣vines among them, whom I truly love and honour, I acknowledge: but I judge this too transcendent a phrase, and more then befits the words of sobernesse. Some as holy and judicious as this Kingdome hath bred: It had been an expression high enough to say, as holy and judicious Divines as any you now know in this Kingdome; but to say as this Kingdome hath bred; how know you that? and how can you affirm it? You were not acquainted with many who lived before (being all young men, to speake of) so that there might be (before your times) men more judicious and holy: and if we may judge by the works of some men, and by their lives writ∣ten, and by the reports from good hands of the godly, ancient Ministers, there were men, more judicious and learned, then any now in New England, as Whitaker, Reynolds, Brightman, and others; and more holy, as Mr Greenham, Mr Banes, old Page  40 Mr. Dod, &c. But for the holy and judicious Divines of New England there are not above three or foure at most were ever ac∣counted so eminent, (I might say but two) and yet the present age hath Divines in England to compare with them, both for learning, judiciousnesse and piety: so as you needed not to have gone backe to the ages past. Take the prime man of them all in new England, and yet, he is not to be accounted as judicious and learned as ever any this kingdome bred: Doctor Whitakers never * held any opinion that was accounted erroneous; nor any private peculiar opinion, but what was commonly held in the Church of God (as it is reported in his life) but the most eminent Minister in New-England (though he be an excellent and worthy man) hath had his errours; and I referre you for proofe to his Discourse about clearing the Doctrine of Reprobation (which is in some of your hands) with his being deceived (for a time) in the businesse of M▪ Wheelwright, and Mistris Hutchinson, and some of those opinions about Sanctification evidencing Justification: and to some other manuscripts and printed things about the Church-way, where there are many things of wit and fancie more then of deep judgement.

The third part of your praise, rises so high, as 'tis hardly to be paralel'd: The sinceritie of them of New-England in their way restisi'd before all the world, and will be to all generations to come by the greatest undertaking (but that of our father Abraham out of his owne Country, and his seed after him) a transplanting themselves many thousand miles distance, and that by sea into a wildernesse, &c. Certainly some Independents then must write their Chronicle, or else their sincerity will not be so testified to all the world, neither will they be so famous to all succeeding genera∣tions: It is well, that in this high praise of them who went to New-England, there was some exception, and that Abraham their father was excepted: (how ever in the instance you present∣ly give of their undertaking) you secretly preferre the men of New-England before Abraham: for Abraham went by land, and not by sea; and not many thousand miles distance, nor into a wilder∣nesse: But I am not satisfied in the truth of this undertaking for New-England, but am of the mind, there both have been and are, Page  41 greater undertakings, (besides Abraham and his seed after him,) namely, that of Moses and Aaron, carrying the people out of Egypt, and leading them through the wildernesse to Canaan; of Nehemiah and Zerubbabel in building of the Temple: besides, the present undertaking of the Parliament for Reformation in Church-government and worship, against the Papists, Prelates and Malignants, (which you had seen when you writ this Apologie) was farre greater, and is testified before the world, and will be to all generations to come, farre beyond that of New-England: 'Tis strange to me, you should thus forget your selves to make the un∣dertaking of New-England to be the greatest that ever was in the world but that of Abrahams: But thus partiall, we see, good men are apt to be for their own party; and even starke blind in their own cause. And as I am no whit satisfied in this third particular of your praise of New-England; so nor in the truth of the thing that you affirme they went to New-England for, namely, meerely to worship God more purely, whether to allure them there could be no other invitement. For that which was first held out and most spoken of in the beginning of that Plantation in New-England, was the hopes of converting the poore Indians; There were some Ministers of note and others who dealt first in that businesse and were prime actors in it, that propounded that, and really intended it, as Mr White of Dorchester, Mr Humphreys, (and I am forget∣full, if I have not read some things printed to that purpose,) As for the worshipping God more purely, (if your words could bare that sense, or you understood them of being freed of the Cere∣monies, and of Episcopall government,) that was some part of the designe and ayme, (though not meerely that,) but if by wor∣shipping God more purely be meant, the worshipping God in the Church-way, and the Church-government pleaded for in this Apology, it was not in the thoughts of them who were the first movers in it, or of the Ministers who were sent over in the beginning, (as is apparent by a Letter of Mr Cottons sent to Mr Skelton a Minister) upon his falling into the Church-way after he came over, wherein Mr Cotton writes to him, that he went from England of another judgement, and tells him how this came about, namely from them of New-Plymouth, who were Page  42 Mr Robinsons people; and further unto many who went over to New-England, after the first and second yeare, there were other in∣vitements, then meerely worshipping God more purely, some of them concluding peremptorily this Kingdome would be destroyed, and there would be a hiding place, as also the great commendations of the Countrey and Land for subsistence, (many being low in their estates here,) led many into a fooles parad•…ce, who finding all things so contrary to the high reports given out, and their expectations, have had leisure enough to repent since; And some of you, (who to my knowledge intended for New-England) yet when you came to understand better, what a hard Countrey it was, would not be of the number of them, whose sincerity should be testified before all the world, and unto all generations to come, by going to New-England to worship God more purely, when to allure you thither, there was no other invitement. And now after all this large nar∣ration of your falling off from the dark part, and of your inquiring into the light part, and the story of your impartial looking upon the word of Christ, and of your consulting with reformed Churches, and looking upon the old Non-conformists, and observing the Se∣paratists, together with the examples of New-England, you plaine∣ly come in the close of this Section, to declare that, for which all this was written, namely, to possesse the Reader of your freedome and un-ingagement, notwithstanding all this, to take that way, or every thing in each way, that was truth, whereas you would insi∣nuate, that other men who differ from you, were not so free, nor un-engaged; But how likely this is, and how un-ingaged and free you were, I desire the Reader to remember what presumption (if not proofes,) I have already brought to proove the contrary.

As for those two Parenthesis brought in of the way of New-England, namely, those improved to a better Edition, and greater refinement by all the fore-montioned helps, and that, all which we looke upon as reformed Churches: To the first of these, I say, 1. It is a high confidence, and presumption, to judge the wayes and pra∣ctises of a few in New-England, to be better, and more refined, then of all the reformed Churches in Christendome. 2. What ever the Edition, and refinement of New-England is, they made little use of all the forementioned helps, named by you, to attaine Page  43 unto it, few of them consulted with reverence the reformed Chur∣ches, &c. But the maine ground of their improvement, to this new Edition and great refinement, (as you terme it,) was their consultation with them of New-Plymouth, as appeares both by Mr Cottons Letter, and by other relations. To the second, I can * judge no other reason of inserting it here, nor of calling the way of New-England, in that first Parenthesis, a better Edition, and grea∣ter refinement, then of any of the reformed Churches, but onely, that we may understand, in what sense you took that part of the Covenant, to be brought to agreement with the best reformed Churches, that you meant and accounted New-England, the best reformed Churches, and so satisfie your consciences in taking that branch of the Covenant; whereas we looke upon the reformed Churches, those of France, Scotland, Holland &c. who are known to us, by their confessions, and I never knew till this Apologie came forth, that ever, the Churches of New-England were stiled the reformed Churches, as the Brownists and Separatists never yet were, unto whom yet the Parenthesis relates as well as to any of the other Churches.

And for our own Congregations, we meane of England (in*which through the grace of Christ we were converted, and exer∣cised our Ministeries long, to the conversion of many others) we have this sincere profession to make before God and all the world, that all that conscience of the defilements, we conceived to cleave to the true worship of God in them, or of the unwarranted power in Church Governours exercised therein, did never work in any of us any other thought, much lesse opinion, but that multitudes of the Assemblies and Parochiall Congregations thereof were the true Churches and body of Christ, and the Ministery thereof a true Ministery. Much lesse did it ever enter into our hearts to judge them Antichristian; we saw and cannot but see that by the same reason the Churches abroad in Scotland, Holland, &c. (though more reformed) yet for their mixture must be in like manner judged no Churches also, which to imagine or conceive, is and hath ever been an horrour to our thoughts. Yea we alwayes have professed, and that in these times when the Church of Eng∣land were the most, either actually over spread with defilements, Page  44 or in the greatest danger thereof, and when our selves had least, yea no hopes of ever so much as visiting our own Land againe in peace and safety to our persons; that we both d•…d and would hold a Communion with them as the Churches of Christ. And besides this profession, as a reall testimony thereof, some of us after we, actually, were in this way of communion, baptized our children in Parishionall Congregations, and (as we had occasion) did offer to receive into the Communion of the Lords Supper with us, some (whom we knew godly that came to visit us when we were in our exile) upon that relation, fellowship and commembership they held in their Parish Churches in England, they professing them∣selves to be members thereof, and belonging thereunto. What we have since our returne publikely and avowedly mad•… declarations of to this purpose, many hundreds can witnesse, and some of our brethren in their printed bookes candidly doe testifie for us.]

In this Section you come to declare your judgements concer∣ning the Congregations of England and the Ministery of them, wherein you apologize for your selves in regard of misapprehen∣sions you might lye under, in respect of your judgements concer∣ning them: For what good you speake of them now, and for owning them as your own, in which you were converted, and in which you converted many others, I thanke you; But for the sin∣cere profession you make before God and all the world, that all that conscience of the defilements you conceive to cleave to the true worship of God in them, or of the unwarranted power in Church Governours exercised therein, did never work in any of you, any other thought much lesse opinion, but that multitudes of the Assemblies and Parochiall Congregations thereof were the true Churches and body of Christ, and the Ministery thereof a true Ministery: much lesse did it ever enter into your hearts to judge them Antichristian. You must pardon me, if I believe not this pro∣fession, Nay, I must tell some of you, that if Letters and other Ma∣nuscripts which goe out under some of your names, and are in my hands be yours, (as I have great reason to believe they are,) I shall prove this sincere profession of yours, to be insincere, and shall evidence the contrary to what you professe before God and the world, namely, that the corruptions, which did cleave to our Page  45 worship, and the unwarranted power, did not only work thoughts and opinions in you, that our Churches and Ministers were not true, but that you exprest so much and acted in the vertue of it, nay even to judge them Antichristian; There are some passages in one Letter (more especially amongst others,) written by Mr Bridge to his loving friends in Norwich, Mr Henry King, Mr Toft, Mr Smith, Mr Rayner, Mr. Mapp, the substance of which Letter to * them is,

Not to be content with the ordinance of hearing, but to looke out after the plat-forme of Government, left by Christ and his Apostles, by Elders, Pastours, Teachers, Deacons and Widdowes, and to consider, that every Church hath the power within it selfe, and is not subject to one Officer, or to another Congregation, but to the whole body, and to that, whereof the member is a part, (And then Mr Bridge falls upon Episcopall government, under which these friends of his lived, as Anti∣christian,) and that their Episcopall government under which they lived, was Papall and Romish, and then brings in these words; And will you then submit unto it, what becomes of them, that doe worship the beast, and what of them, that receive his marke, Rev, 13. 8. Rev. 149, 10. It is a worshipping, it is a receiving a marke to practise any Canon, constitution or or∣der that is framed or injoyned by that government: What? you have no Elders, Pastors, &c. What? you sit, stand, kneele at the command of that government; and in the Postscript of this Letter, he adds these words; paying a Pepper-corne may ac∣knowledge a Land-lord, and the standing up at the Creed may acknowledge the government.
Now I demand of Mr Bridge and the other Apologists, what multitudes of the Assemblies and parochiall Congregations were there in England, that were wholly exempt from that Government? or whether there was any that did refuse wholy, all the Orders, injoyned by that Govern∣ment? and if so, whether then in Mr Bridges opinion, and in his letters all our Congregations and M•…nisters, were not An∣tichristian, in worshipping the Beast, and receiving his marke, let all the world, and his owne conscience judge? And for further proofe, unto one of Mr Bridges letters were seven Questions annex∣ed and propounded, concerning the Ministerie, worship, and con∣stitution Page  46 of the Church Assemblies in England, the usuall questions the Brownists make: I have also the copie of a letter written from Mr Simpson to a man of note in London (whose name out of re∣spect to him, I conceale) the substance of which letter is, to have him consider,
Whether he may live without all the Ordinances, if they be any where to be had, or live in danger of daily defile∣ment, and there is one thing, which together with these, he de∣sires him to thinke upon, namely, what that state and condition is, wherein we should injoy the Ordinances, we should call no∣thing the meanes of salvation or Ordinances, but what God hath appointed to his Church. A Church is Christs bodie, it con∣sists of holy members, in show at least, joyned together to Christ, as to a Head, and as there is a bond whereby we are invisibly joyned, so is there a bond to him visibly. Ceremonies are no∣thing in regard of this, they make things accidentally evill, accor∣ding as this is, things are, or are not ordinances, and meanes of salvation. Baptisme is no baptisme, unlesse it be administered by a Minister: A Minister is no Minister, unlesse cal'd by the Church, and so I might speake of other things. By all which it will appeare that Mr Simpson had thoughts, and doubts, and would have others have such thoughts too, that we have neither Churches, nor Ordinances, nor Ministers, according to his definition of a Church, and to the matter contained in his let∣ter, and in the close of his letter though he writes,

I meddle not with judging of these things with you, but pro∣pound you a rule, or way to judge of things by; I dare not say, your Congregations are not Churches, but desire you to looke that they be so, for your owne peace,
yet it is evident by what he sayes in his letter, that he accounts, neither our Churches, nor our Ministers true, and would stumble him in these things to whom he wrote. I have a manuscript entituled, a Treatise of the Church, going under the name of one of these Apologists, and a godly Mi∣nister from whose hands I had it, assured it me it was his. In which Treatise there is an answer to this question;
But suppose Saints live in a Nation, wherein there is some kind of a Church constituted already, may they gather themselves into a Church? The Answer is as followes. 1. If you suppose that there are Page  47 Churches in England, yet such as never were truly members of any of them, are free to begin, and gather themselves into a Church, and to be of the best Institution they can, this libertie we under the Gospel have, which the Jewes had not. 2. Al∣though they are Churches, yet we •…re not to continue in them, and not remaine from them. 1. In that they are Churches de∣fective in some Ordinances, as namely, Prophecying, mutuall admonition, excommunication. 2. They are Churches defi∣led in our judgements, in which communicating, we cannot but be defiled now though they be Churches, as a leprous man was a man, yet being defiled, we cannot communi•…ate with them, and so in regard of our use, now no Churches; and in the same page it is added, we may be kept from joyning with the true Church, and yet not withdraw from these, as no Churches, but as no Churches of use to us.
Now I appeale to the Reader, what he can judge of your profession in the sixt page, and of these passages in your letters and manuscripts; and as some of your hands are contrary to this profession, so your workes are contrary to it; in forsaking the communion of our Churches and ministerie, and in drawing others away, and in writing to many to come to you, and in setting up Churches: and pray deale ingeniously once in your Reply; seeing you ever held, and doe now much more; that our Assemblies are true Churches, and our Ministers true Ministers; how you can satisfie your owne consciences and us, from any Scrip∣ture ground, either of precept or example to separate from us? I am assured you cannot produce any ground, and that all Scripture instances, whether in examples or precepts will never come up to your practise and case: But (Brethren) why will you in a Nar∣ration that should be plaine (that all who •…unne may reade it) deale thus fallaciously, amuse the Reader with your profession of our Churches and Ministerie, in such generals, and never declare what you hold particularly of them? Few Readers, unlesse some, who have throughly studied your principles and distinctions, be∣ing never the wiser for your profession: I must therefore of ne∣cessity English your words, and tell the meaning of all this: That is, neither the Church or Churches of England; nor the Ministery thereof, as they are in their frame and constitution, according to Page  48 the Lawes; and as they are in their visible order, are true Churches or true Ministerie: But now, so farre, as in many of our Parochi∣all Congregations, there is something common with what you hold about a Church and Ministerie: so farre true, and not Anti∣christian. As for example, you hold, that in some Congregations, we have many visible Saints, and in some Parishes, Ministers cho∣sen by the people, which Ministers preach and pray according to your way; but for what we else practise in our making of Mini∣sters, in our formes of prescribed prayers, &c. So no true Chur∣ches nor Ministerie. And that this is your meaning will appeare by what followes. 1. Letters and speeches of some of your way, who write not so warily (as you) show so much. Mr Batchelour a member of your Church-way, in printed letters of his, dated from Rotterdam, September the 4th 1641. both to Ministers here in London, and to Citizens, speakes thus in reference to you;
And whereas it is beleeved, they are friends to separation, this I can assure you, that they denie not the Churches in England, such as M. Calamies and M. Goodwins in Coleman-street, to be true Churches.
And why M. Goodwins, and M. Calamies; but because they were chosen by the Congregations, and there are ma∣ny visible Saints in those Congregations; and so others of your way, having been reasoned with, how according to your princi∣ples, That there is no Nationall visible Church under the new Te∣stament, no visible Church but a particular Congregation, and that the Essence of Ministers calling is Election by the people, and that the forme of a Church is a particular Covenant, with other things of this Nature: And therefore considering the Church of England is Nationall, and hath no such Covenant, nor such a way of Ministerie, how they could hold we had true Churches and true Ministers: Their Answer hath been, You have Implicite Churches, and Implicite Ministers. But if you will say, you un∣derstand your words in this Section (not as M. Batchelour nor as others of your way) but plainly, as Divines usually take Churches and Ministerie; then I desire you to reconcile together all your de∣finitions and descriptions of true visible Churches, and true Mini∣sters, with our Church and Ministery of England: And for further satisfaction in this point, I desire you in your reply to this Answer, Page  49 candidly, and clearely to expresse your selves, when you fell to your Church-way, and were to be taken for Ministers in those Churches; whether you held your selves, or were look'd upon by your Churches, as true Ministers by vertue of your calling in Eng∣land? Or whether (rather) you were not lookt upon only as gifted men, and did not some of you (at least) renounce and disclaime your calling in England, and were made Ministers a new by the Church consisting only of people, or lay-Elders at the best, without Ministers? M. Williams in his Answer to M. Cottons let∣ter, * openly justifies, they held and practised so in New-England: Now your principles agreeing so with theirs, and some Stories re∣lated to me of some of you, makes me doubt the same of you. As for that reason you give why you never held our Churches no true Churches, namely, your seeing, that if you had accounted our Churches no true Churches; that by the same reason, the Churches abroad in Scotland, Holland, &c. yet for their mixture must in like manner be judged no Churches also; I answer, 'tis no concluding Argument: M. Robinson (who was quick-sighted, and lived in Holland long) and seeing their mixture, yet acknowledges those Churches true, but denies ours to be true upon other grounds be∣sides the mixture, and 'tis evident, your reason is insufficient, for if your description of a visible Church were only upon difference in the point of mixture, and your grounds of separation only up∣on mixt communion, then your Reason had some weight in it; but you know your exceptions were many against our Churches, which lay not against the Reformed Churches: but it is strange to me, if you were so good at consequences, that you saw and could not but see when there was no necessitie of seeing; you could not see the necessarie consequences of your principles about a Church and Ministerie; nay not see, even your contradictions. For let a man but take your owne Positions and Assertions concer∣ning a true visible Church, and the true calling of Ministers, and lay together your quarrelling with us, and leaving us upon those grounds, because we have no such Churches and Ministers; and ye•… to affirme, that multitudes of our Parochiall Churches are true Churches. And certainly, however you (who are Schollars) might be such good Logicians to make such distinctions to salve all (as you Page  50 conceited) yet your people could not, but they from your princi∣ples and positions about Church, Ministerie, Worship and Go∣vernment, have judged us no true Churches, nor true Ministers; but have wondred at this sincere profession of yours before God and the world concerning our Churches and Ministers, saying, they understood you otherwise, and they were much deceived if you held not otherwise at first (though now you expresse your selves after this manner) And I can hardly beleeve had you made alwaies and frequently such professions of our Churches and Mini∣sters, and of keeping communion with them, as the Churches of Christ, that ever so many had fallen off to your way. But thus 'tis in all the way of errours, men by sits will expresse things as other men do who are Orthodox (but yet in a sence of their own) to avoid ex∣ceptions, and that they may be thought to hold as others do, therby the more to draw and work some men off to their way, when yet in the common sense and understanding of the points they hold other∣wise. As the Socinians say they hold Christ God, and call him so, but in a sence of their own, and yet denie it in the Orthodox sense: So Pelagians and Arminians will extoll the grace of God, and that a man can doe nothing without it, and yet in that sence wherein the controversie is, they set up free-will, above the grace of God; And so Antinomians will say, they doe not denie the law of God; and yet in the sense controverted, are flat against it. And so the Papists will say, they hold and looke to be saved by Christ, as well as any Protestant (though it's well knowne there is a great difference betweene them, in the point of Justification:) So you and many of your way, in a sense of your owne, give us good words, and say, we have true Churches and true Ministerie; and yet in the sense of the controversie, you teach flat contrary; (as doth appeare both by printed Tract•…tes, and by manuscripts and many practises.) As to that Profession in this Section, That in the times, when the Churches of England, were most either actually over∣spread with defilements; or in the greatest danger therof, that we both did, and would bold a communion with them as the Churches of Christ: I answer, what doe I heare words, when I see deeds so contrary? How can I beleeve this profession, that ye would hold communion with the Churches of England, as the Churches of Page  51 Christ, under their greatest defilements, when as, you have never held communion with any of them in the time of their greatest re∣formation and puritie? In this three yeares last, since your com∣ming over, wherein we have been so free from pollution in wor∣ship, and since that in so many Churches in London, there hath bin the totall laying aside of prescribed formes of prayer; and that great care, to keepe away both ignorant and prophane persons: Which of you five have received the Lords Supper in any of these true Churches and bodies of Christ? I never could learne, that any of you five nor any of the members of your Churches have com∣municated with us. I can tell you of the adding to your Church Assemblies, great numbers since and of your receiving the Lords Supper at night in private houses, and how some of you, who have not Churches here in London, goe to separated Churches to par∣take in the Lords Supper. But (Brethren) why doe you deale thus and write thus, to make men beleeve as if you held great com∣munion with our Churches now, who would have held it with them in such bad times? I desire you to speake plaine English, and not to speake after this manner (as you doe too often in this Apo∣logie) and to interpret to us in your Reply to this Answer, what you meane by both Did and Would hold communion with the Churches of England as the Churches of Christ? I know no communion you did hold, or doe with us now (though so re∣formed.) And if you do and will, what means that wall of parti∣tion between us your new constituted Churches? As for th•…•…a∣ring of Sermons sometimes in our Churches, and preachi•…g in our Congregations, I doubt whether you hold that a keeping communion with our Churches and Ministers; but rather, preach as gifted men; and heare ours as gifted men, and how ever (* if M. Robinson and some of your way may be beleeved) they hold hearing of the Word no Act of Communion, nor no proper nor peculiar thing of the Church: And that you are of the same judge∣ment, I have great reason both from your principles and practise to thinke so. As for that reall testimonie (besides your professi∣on) That some of us after we actually were in this way of commu∣nion, baptized our children in Parishionall Congregations; whereby you would inferre, you held a communion with our Con∣gations Page  52 as the Churches of Christ: I answer, this is no reall te∣stimony thereof, because it cannot be understood but in the sense before opened, of Churches and Ministery: And besides, if Mr Sympson were one of this Some, who baptized his children in Pa∣rishionall Congregations, 'tis so inconsistent with what he writ in the Letter before quoted of the Church and baptisme; that I know not how to reconcile these together: And the truth is, ma∣ny of your practises are oft times so in-coherent with some of your principles of Church-fellowship, (as for instance) Pastors are necessary Officers in your Churches, and yet according to your practises your Churches are many yeares without them, that a man cannot tell when he hath a reall testimony what you hold, or how long you have held it. And as for that other reall testimony, as you had occasion, offering to receive, some of ours whom ye knew godly that came to visit you when you were in exile, upon that re∣lation, fellowship and com-membership they held in their Parish∣churches in England. 1. 'Tis no reall testimony, because you o•…red it, but doe not say you performed it. 2. If you had actually per∣formed it, it is no such reall testimony of the truth of our Chur∣ches and ministery, but of your own rather; into the commu∣nion whereof they were received. 3. Still, their admission was founded upon that distinction of Implicit Churches, as ap∣peares by your following words. For you would admit them upon such termes, as you would gaine a principle of your own by them; get more by it, then communion with you was worth, namely, that such who were known to be godly, might not come to the Sacrament of the Lords Supper, unlesse they were members of some particular Congregation, and so, in their parta∣king * with you, they must yeeld, that grand Brownisticall principle, the foundation of other errors among the Separatists, namely, that Sacraments belong not to visible believers but as they are members of some particular Congregation. As also you put them upon a practice and order, never required, by example or precept in the Scriptures. And let me intreat you, in your reply you give to this answer, to give me a Scripture, to prove that all men who come to the Lords Supper must professe their member-ship, and their retaining to such a particular Congregation: I professe Page  53 my selfe of another judgement, and cast the glove to any of you five, or to you all; That it is lawfull for the Ministers of Christ to receive such whom they know to be godly, to the Lords Supper, though they be not members of a particular Church, and to receive those who are members without any professing themselves to be so: Suppose, some godly Merchants or Marriners, who all their dayes travell, and never stay long in any one place, yet in all places where they come, desire to joyne in the ordinances, ought not such to be received? The standing rule of comming to the Lords Sup∣per will be found to be faith and godlinesse shown forth, rather then the formality of membership: But deale ingeniously, doe you tell us here, all that you required of the godly, that came to visit you, or doe you tell us only a part? which question, I the rather propound, because, as you doe relate in other parts of this Narration, (as in the eighth page,) so I find Mr Batchelour (one of you,) writing from Rotterdam of your Churches, that they will not keepe back the Sacrament from any of the godly of such Churches in England, as Mr Goodwins and Mr Calamyes are, (alwayes provided that their own Pastours doe consent unto it.) Now the godly who are gone into Holland, and especially to New-England, not finding any such word in Scripture, of brin∣ging a ticket from their Ministers, and so comming into those Countreyes without it, may be long kept from the Sacrament of the Lords Supper, till they either goe into England, and fetch it, or till they send for it over, and have a returne back of the consent of their own Pastors, (which may be, was the reason, that though you offered to receive into the Communion of the Lords Supper some godly that came to visit you in your exile, yet for want of bringing their Pastors consent unto it, returned into England without partaking in the Lords Supper with you,) Which (by the way) will be a good warning for all that henceforth goe over into Holland or New-England, to carry their Ministers consents over with them, least otherwise they be not admitted to the Lords Supper; and that you doe not deale plainely with us, in this rela∣tion of admitting the godly in the Parish Churches of England, into the Communion of the Lords Supper with you, but there is some reservation and evasion; I much doubt, because the known Page  54 godly in the Parish-church of Coleman-street (which amongst Parish-churches, is one of your true Churches in England) cannot be admitted to the Sacrament of the Lords Supper by vertue of their relation of membership they hold in the Parish-church never since their Pastor fell into your Church-way; As for your publike and avowed declarations to this purpose, which many hundreds can witnesse, I never heard of any of them in any publike mee∣tings; though I have been in many, nor in any Sermons you have preacht, though I have heard of many things you preacht (which you are like to heare of in this Answer,) But if I may speake what I have heard, there hath been a Narrative promised from you, of what you hold, (which many Ministers also can witnesse,) but was never performed by you till this day; As to that, in the close of this Section, that some of your brethren, in their printed books doe candidly testifie for you, It is but one of them, not some unlesse you take in Mr Herles Imprimatur to your Apologie, who I doubt not before this time, by what he hath heard from some of his bretheren of the Assembly, and seen in that book intituled Refor∣mation of Church-government in Scotland, with the contents of the Letters from some Churches beyond the seas, besides the light this Answer will give, will see easily, how by your courting of him, he was surprized: And it is no wonder that Mr Herle, Mr Chan∣nell, with some other men of worth (having lived somewhat re∣mote, and having not been much conversant with you and your distinctions,) might be at first mistaken with such good words, and solemne professions.

And as we alwayes held this respect unto our own Churches in this Kingdome, so we received and were entertained with the*like from those reformed Churches abroad, among whom we were cast to live, wee both mutually gave and received the right hand of fellowship, which they on their parts abundantly manifested by the very same characters and testimonies of difference which are proper to their own orthodox Churches, and whereby they use to distinguish them from all those Sects (which they tollerate but not owne) and all the assemblies of them (which yet now we are here some would needs ranke us with) granting to some of us their own Churches, or publike places for worship, to assemble in, where Page  55 themselves met, for the worship of God, at differing houres the same day. As likewise the priviledge of ringing a publike Bell to call unto our meetings: Which we mention, because it is amongst them made the great signall of difference between their own al∣lowed Churches, and all other assemblies, unto whom it is strictly prohibited and forbidden, as Guiciardine hath long since observed: And others of us found such acceptance with them, that in testi∣mony thereof they allowed a full and liberall maintenance annually for our Ministers, yea and constantly also wine for our Commu∣nions. And then we againe on our parts, not only held all brotherly correspondencie with their Divines, but received also some of the members of their Churches (who desired to communicate with us) unto communion in the Sacraments and other ordinan∣ces, by vertue of their relation of membership retained in those Churches.

In the last Section, I prooved, both by Letters and many other presumptions, you alwayes held not that respect to the Church of England you seeme to professe in that Section▪ if now at last, you be growne more sober and wise, upon reviewing your principles, I am glad of it, non est pudor ad meliora transire; For this Section, your being received and entertained with the like respect from those Reformed Churches abroad, and your mutually giving and receiving the right hand of fellowship. If I may beleeve reports and Letters (and those not light, but from Ministers and good people;) I have been by word of mouth told, and I have in wri∣ting from thence, grounds to question the truth of this Narration. A godly Minister out of Holland in answer to some questions sent about the truth of your Apologie, writes thus to this present Se∣ction:

And here I cannot but adde this; that whereas the Apologeticall Narration mentions these things as an argu∣ment*of the incouragements they had in these parts, and their good concurrence with the Churches here, it hath been affirmed to me from very good testimony, that however the Magistrates at Rotterdam for politick ends, as to gather company to them which is for the profit of the place; yet the Churches there (I meane the Dutch) never approoved of the course held there by these Brethren and their people.
It hath been affirmed to me Page  56 that many of the Dutch Ministers were much offended at Mr Bridges being ordained Minister by the Lay-elders without any preaching Presbyters: And what ever right-hand fellowship, and brotherly correspondency you might hold with the Dutch Di∣vines; some of the English Ministers of the Reformed Churches there, have complained of your great strangenesse and distance to∣wards them; and, instance hath been given me particularly, (by a great friend of yours now in London) that when some of you have come to Amsterdam, you never would goe to Mr Herrings, (a good old non-conformist) but have gone to Mr Canne's (the Se∣paratist) and to his Church. And besides, this report, told me some yeares agoe, from a friend of your owne, that I might not only be∣leeve reports, I sent over into Holland some questions about the truth of some things related by you in this Apologie, the contrary whereunto, I had been informed of before: and among other que∣stions, upon this Section, I propounded, what communion and con∣verse, passed between the godly English Ministers and their Con∣gregations, and you? or whether, when you came to Amsterdam, you went not rather to the Brownists meetings, and conversed with Mr Canne more then the Reformed Ministers: Unto which question, I had this answer in so many words sent:
To this I can say, that since my comming hither, we have had no such com∣munion with them, as that we have prevailed with any of them to preach in our Congregation, though I am sure, some of them have beene earnestly importuned thereunto, indeed M r Bridge seemed once to be willing, but did not. And for their going to the Brownists, and conversing with M r Canne more then us; that is undeniable, What you may of this reade, in Epistle to the Re∣joinder indefence of M r Bradshaw, against M r Canne, is most true and certaine.

But suffer me a little to examine the particulars wherein you would proove, the mutuall giving and receiving the right-hand of fellowship: For the first; That you were received and entertai∣ned with the like respect that you gave to our Churches in Eng∣land, I easily beleeve (which was but little.) And if the Reformed Churches look't upon you, and you on them, as you did upon our Churches in this Kingdome; you have no cause to boast here, of Page  57 mutuall giving and receiving the right hand of fellowship, remem∣bring what I answered to your last Section concerning your pro∣fession of our Churches. As to that proofe you bring, of their giving you the right hand of fellowship, in their abundantly manifesting it by the very same characters and testimonies of difference, which are proper to their own orthodox Churches, and whereby they use to distinguish them from all those Sects, &c, I answer, this was not to all of your Churches, for Mr Simpson (which yet is your way, and is here owned by you all in this Apologie) had not a Church, or publike place for worship granted to him, nor the pri∣viledge of ringing a Bell to call to meetings, but was looked upon as a Sect, (as Mr Bridge told me.) And in a Letter out of Holland from a good hand to that question: Whether Mr Simpsons Church had the allowance of ringing a publike Bell to call to their meeting, and whether any maintenance allowed by the States: 'Tis answered:

To this, I shall say, I never yet heard by any, that his Church had any such allowance of Bell, or maintenance by the States.
Now if Mr Simpsons Church was lookt upon as a Sect, (tollerated but not owned) wanting that great signall of difference between allowed Churches and all other assemblies, namely, the priviledge of ringing a publike Bell to call unto their meetings: and the rest of your Churches being just of the same way and constitution with his, (as appeares by this Apologie) then, the ranking of you, now you are here, with Sects, is no great injury to you: Neither will the granting to your two other Chur∣ches, publike places to worship, with maintenance for some of your Ministers, &c. free you from being lookt upon as Sects by the Churches and Ministers there: but I must tell you, these priviledges came from other grounds, as namely, one of your Churches con∣sisting of many persons of great quality, and going at first to a pri∣viledged place; the other Church having formerly been a Church in the way of the Reformed Churches there, and so had then the allowance of a publike place. (The first sensible declining of that Church to the new-way, being by Mr Peters, (before he went to New-England,) Now Mr Bridge comming to that Church, and bringing with him and after him wealthy Citizens and Clothiers, by which the Magistrates at Rotterdam knowing well their ad∣vantage; Page  58 No wonder though they permitted that Church, their publike place, and gave to their Ministers a full and liberall main∣tenance, yea and Wine for their Communions, and yet should gaine well by it. As for your holding all brotherly correspondency with their Divines (which I suppose you meane the Dutch) not knowing any of them, I can say nothing against it; but only 'tis a great presumption that holding so little brotherly correspondencie with our own English Divines there, you held not much with the Dutch: But grant that which you say to be true, that you held all * faire correspondencie with them that might be upon other grounds, for your own advantage and benefit many wayes, you being strangers and they in their own countrey, as also to see if you could gaine any of their Ministers to your Church-way. And as for your receiving some of their members unto communion in the Sacraments, that might be but to strengthen your own way and to advance that Church-principle of receiving them by vertue of their relation of membership. And here I desire to put two questions to you. 1. Whether in receiving some members of the Dutch Churches (who desired to communicate with you) you put them upon professing themselves to be members of their Churches, and belonging thereunto (as you did the English who came to you.) 2. Though you received some of them unto communion in your Churches, whether any of you ever received the Lords Sup∣per in any of their Churches? or in any of the English Churches in Holland who were not of your way and communion? But grant all you say in all your profession of your respect and holding communion with the Dutch Churches, whereby you would free your selves from the imputation of Separation, and make the Rea∣der beleeve the Brownists and you had no affinity: I answer, You say no more, nor hardly so much as Mr Robinson writ in his Apo∣logie 25 yeares since of those Reformed Churches, page 10, 11.

Now for the way and practise of our Churches we give this briefe and generall account. Our publike worship was made up of no other parts then the worship of all other reformed Churches doth consist of. As publike and solemne prayers for Kings and all in authority, &c. the reading the Scriptures of the Old and New Testament; Exposition of them as occasion was; and constant Page  59 preaching of the word; the administration of the two Sacraments, Baptisme to Infants, and the Lords Supper; singing of Psalmes; collections for the poore, &c. every Lords day. For Officers and publike Rulers in the Church, we set up no other but the very same which the reformed Churches judge necessary and sufficient, and as Instituted by Christ and his Apostles for the perpetuall government of his Church, that is, Pastors, Teachers, Ruling-Elders, (with us not lay but Ecclesiastique persons separated to that service) and Deacons. And for the matter of government and censures of the Church, we had nor executed any other but what all acknowledge, namely, Admonition, and Excommuni∣cation upon obstinacie and impenitency, (which we blesse God we never exercised.) This latter we judged should be put in exe∣cution, for no other kind of sins then may evidently be presumed to be perpetrated against the parties known light; as whether it be a sin in manners and conversation, such as is committed against the light of nature, or the common received practises of Christi∣anity, professed in all the Churches of Christ; or if in opinions, then such, as are likewise contrary to the received principles of Christianity, and the power of godlinesse, professed by the party himselfe, and universally acknowledged in all the rest of the Churches, and no other sins to be the subject of that dreadfull sen∣tence.]

In this Section you give us a Narration of the way and practises of your Churches. Wherein, in the beginning you tell the Reader, We give this briefe and generall account; But how much better had it been, and more proper to have given a full, and particular account here, then in your other parts, about New-England, and the Reformed Churches in Holland; A full and particular ac∣count of the way and practises of your Churches, had answered more the nature of such a Narration, and would have satisfied all men: but why did you in the most materiall part give such a briefe and generall account? knowing that under brevities and genera∣lities, there lies much mistake and deceit. And let me tell you, this briefe and generall account, falls short of your way and practises: and either you had bad memories in your writing this Apologie, about the parts of your worship, Officers and censures, to forget Page  60 some of them; or else you have on purpose conceal'd them; hol∣ding out the bright side of the cloud (namely, what the Reformed Churches practise) but hiding the back: which is so much the more justly to be excepted against, because as you set down the words, and give the account, they are not true; but I can say, (and make it good too) your publike worship was made up of other parts then the worship of all other Reformed Churches, namely, of Prophesying in your Congregations: and for Officers and pub∣like Rulers in the Church, you set up others then the reformed Chur∣ches, namely Widdowes: And for the matter of government and censures of the Church; you have executed others, besides Admonition and Excommunication, namely, deposition of a Mi∣nister, and confession of offences publikely, and orderings of so∣lemne Fasting for Humiliation upon confession of sins, as your selves relate the story in the 16th page, and one and twentieth: besides, you hold other censures of the Church: the Sentence of of Non-communion with Declaration, and Protestation to all other Churches; as appeares by your own relation, page 17, 18, 19. For publike worship that you exercised prophecying, I could name unto you, who of the members have prophecied at Arnheim, and upon what subject, but I spare them; I could tell you, how Mr Bridge and Mr Sympson fell out upon the point of Prophecie, (as Mr Bridge informed me) and of the exercising of Prophe∣sie in Mr Sympsons Church at Rotterdam, as well as at Arnheim, I could out of manuscripts produce how arguments are framed to draw away people from our Churches upon this ground, as being defective in some ordinances, namely prophesying. And besides prophesying, I propound it to you, whether some of you have not held out some other publike worship, then the reformed Churches hold, namely Hymns and annointing the sick members of the Church with oyle; As also, whether a little before your comming over into England, some members of the Church of Arnheim, did not propound the holy kisse, or the kisse of love, to be practised by Church-members; Nay whether by some persons in that Church, was it not begun to be used and practised; And in this enume∣ration of the parts of publike worship, I desire to know why you put in &c. and what is meant by &c. for that implies more Page  61 parts then you enumerate. And we know, &c. is a dangerous and suspicious phrase ever since the late Canons and Oath, for under that &c. may be meant Prophesying, and Hymnes, and Annoin∣ting with oyle, and the Kisse of love, and many other parts which the reformed Churches practise not, and so your publike worship may be made up of many other parts then the worship of all other reformed Churches, and that there is great cause to speake thus, and doubt, appeares, because I know not, nor cannot reckon up any other part of publike worship used every Lords day in the reformed Churches then the particulars mentionad by you with∣out an &c. and therefore what you meane by under &c. unlesse Prophesying, Hymnes and such like, I cannot imagine. For Offi∣cers and publike Rulers in the Church, whether you actually had made any Church-Widdowes in any of your Churches, (they being matter of charge, which also, as for admitting of poore members, some of you are very carefull of,) I cannot affirme, but that you hold Widdowes to be Officers of the Church, and part of the Church government, that I can prove by these following in∣stances. 1. By a passage in a Letter from Mr Bridge to some at Norwitch, by Mr Davenports profession of faith printed, and * by Mr Cottons Catechisme. And how much you have of late reasoned, for such a Church Officer in the Assembly, you know; And let the Reader observe that by the way, that we must judge of your wayes rather by what you hold, then alwayes by your practise, for one of your Churches hath been some yeares with∣out a Pastour the first and chiefe Officer, and yet you set up such, moch more may you be without Widdowes for some yeares, and yet hold them, and as you have Widdowes a Church Officer, which the reformed Churches hold not, so in one of your Chur∣ches you have had Teaching Elders, besides a Pastor, and Teacher; And what ever the reformed Churches hold of their Officers as ne∣cessary and sufficient for the perpetuall government of the Church, Yet your practise is not, as if you held them necessary and perpe∣tuall; for one of your Churches, hath been many yeares without a Pastour, the prime Officer and Ruler in the Church, and other of your Churches without other officers, which if they were so ne∣cessary, and as instituted by Christ and his Apostles, for the perpe∣tuall Page  62 Governement of the Church; how you can be without these officers, and namely the most necessarie and principall, for many yeares together, I cannot see: And I desire you in your Reply, to satisfie us; and to shew Reason, how you can depart from that which is confest by all Churches, and your selves to, for the main∣taining an opinion of the essentiall difference, betweene Pastours and Teachers in each Congregation, so much denied by many lear∣ned and godly Divines. As for that Parenthesis about ruling El∣ders (with us not Lay but Ecclesiastick persons separated to that service) I desire to know, wherein and how, your ruling Elders, are more Ecclesiasticke persons, and separated to that service, then the ruling Elders of the Reformed Churches: The Reformed Churches, account their ruling-Elders Ecclesiasticall persons, and they are separated to that worke, by election and ordination; and whereas you make a distinction in the manner of your expressions, between ruling Elders separated to that service and Deacons. I aske you, whether Deacons are not Ecclesiasticall persons, and se∣parated to that service by Election and ordination, as well as El∣ders? what, are your more, and in what further degree, are they Ecclesiasticall then the ruling Elders of the Reformed Churches, or your owne Deacons; doe you meane them so Ecclesiasticall and separated to that service of ruling, so as the Pastours and Teachers are to their office, that is, separated from all civill Imployments and callings to the worke of wholly attending the flocke, and of being as Ministers and preachers of the word; now if you under∣stand it in this sense that all your ruling-Elders doe give over their civill callings and worldly imployments, and are so separated, as Pastours and Teachers are, it being the duty of the ruling-Elder to teach publikely as well as governe, then I have nothing to say a∣gainst your ruling-Elders. And this puts an end to all that contro∣versie about Lay-Elders, onely let me aske you two questions. 1. What specificall difference you will give me, betweene those officers the Ministers of the word, and ruling-Elders. Seeing both rule and preach, and what becomes then of those texts, 1 Cor. 12. Rom. 12. Which are held out to prove Church Government by, and amongst other particulars are brought to prove, that besides those who teach and preach the word, the Scripture reckons up Page  63 Governours and Rulers. 2. Whether did your Gentlemen and Merchants, who were made ruling-Elders among you, upon their office give over their merchandizing, and their way of living, as Gentlemen, wholly applying themselves to their studies, and to all gravitie in apparell, haire, &c. But now, if your ruling-El∣ders, doe follow, their merchandizing and trade, and are not as Pastours and Teachers, how can you affirme of them, to be more Ecclesiastick persons then your Deacons, or then the Elders of o∣ther Reformed Churches. And as for the matter of Governe∣ment, and censures of the Church, you did forget here, what you were to write in the 16th page, and in the 21th. How one of your Churches unhappily deposed one of their Ministers, which censure was neither admonition nor excommunication upon obsti∣nacie and impenitence. But the particulars under this head, I have spoken to, upon this Section alreadie. But as I have clearly and unanswerably shewed your publique worship was made up of o∣ther parts, then the worship of all other Reformed Churches, and have instanced wherein you practised and held over and above, so let me from this Narration of your wayes and practises here, question, whether you practised all parts of worship, and censures, which other Churches practise. For I feare, your Narration, as it is all a long subtilly carried (for though you say, your worship was made of no other parts, nor you exe∣cuted no other censures, but what all acknowledge) so it may be here, and you may conceale, what you have omitted, was your worship then, and is it still made up of all these: Doe all of you hold, or did you practise, in Holland, the reading the Scrip∣tures of the old and new Testament, as an Ordinance without any exposition, and doe you practise the singing of Psalmes, according to the way of Reformed Churches. I have been told that at Ro∣terdam, the Scriptures were never read barely without Expositi∣on, and there are many of your Church way and communion, that will neither joyne in hearing the Scriptures read, nor in singing of Psalmes in our Congregations. Which makes me doubt some of you may be of the same opinion and practise. And did all of you whilest you were in Holland, and doe you now administer Bap∣tisme to all the Infants of your Churches, or are there not some In∣fants Page  64 unbaptized amongst you; and for the matter of censures, though you say you had, nor executed no other, but what all ac∣knowledge, yet you doe not affirme, you executed all censures which other Reformed Churches acknowledge, and so you con∣ceale your judgement of things. Yet in this Narration of your way and practises, you carry your discourse so in this Section, as if your practise and way were all the same with the Reformed Churches, but had you dealt ingeniously, in the Narration of the way, and practises of your Churches, you should have laid downe particularly as wherein, and how farre you agreed with the Re∣formed Churches, so also wherein you departed from them: namely you should have shewed in what you practised more then they doe, and wherein you practise short of them, and in the things you practised with them, yet how you differ'd in the man∣ner of them; but to returne to that of censures Reformed Chur∣ches practise, besides admonition, and before they come to ex∣communication, that which is called by Divines, Abstentio à sacracaena, but you doe not so, but conceale this; but brethren, why should you not practise this, especially considering how ac∣cording to your principles; the Church is to receive the Lords Supper, every Lords day: Now suppose some members commit a great sinne on the Saturday, which though comming it be known to the Ministers or Elders, and some of the people, either there may be no time to call the Church to admonish the parties, or if there be for admonition, yet not time sufficient for the parties to testifie Repentance, and yet, the persons may not be judged ob∣stinate and impenitent as to be excommunicated; but the persons offending will come now to the Lords table; in the interim, what will you doe in this case? And further the Reformed Churches enjoyne the censure of open confession of sinnes, and practise de∣position of officers from their places, which may justly arise upon some cases, and yet not thinke it fit to proceed unto excommuni∣cation. (as your selves practised in M. Wards case) never procee∣ding to give him up to Satan; but how lame and defective is this your Narration, about the governement of the Church; onely re∣lating two things, you practised in common with the Reformed Churches, and as concealing other things you practised not with Page  65 them, so wholly passing over in silence here all your different way of practising from all Churches, in the way of ordination, in the way of constituting Churches, and admission into them, and in the way of governing by the votes and suffrages of the whole bo∣die, in the way of celebration the Lords Supper, receiving it at night, &c. in the Sacrament of Baptisme, with many other par∣ticulars; which whether it be fairly done, I appeale to the Reader, who is by this much deceived, thinking upon the reading of: this Narration, that you had agreed in all things, of Worship, Offi∣cers, Censures with the Reformed Churches: But to returne to that censure of Excommunication, which you insist upon, lay∣ing downe your judgement about the subject of that censure: As for your blessing God, you never exercised it. There may be but little ground for such a blessing, but cause rather to be humbled for not using it seasonably: I judge had you practised it, some revi∣lings, evill speakings between many members of your Churches, with some other offences might have been prevented: But there is no such great cause to set out your selves, by the non-exercise of Excommunication, if what you hold for the matter of it be consi∣dered, wherein I suppose you differ from all Orthodox Reformed Churches, and doe open a wide gappe to much licentiousnesse both in doctrine and practise: What doe you judge? Is it not to be put in Execution for no other kind of sinnes, then may evidently be presumed to be perpetrated against the parties knowne light, &c. What if men practise Polygamie, prophane the Lords day, by using it as they doe any other daie, what if they doe hold, and accordingly will have practised communitie of goods amongst be∣leevers, what if they maintaine that Christians ought not to be Magistrates, all which are not condemned in all the Churches of Christ (especially if some Churches may be taken for Churches of Christ, and we have reason to beleeve by your manner of ex∣pressions you include such) neither are perpetrated against the parties knowne light, but rather are practised upon new light, and as new truthes; and let me intreate you in your Replie to explain your meaning, what you meane by all the Churches of Christ, and by the common received practises of Christianitie; and what by the principles of Christianitie universally acknowledged in all the Page  66 rest of the Churches, whether by Churches you understand the Churches onely of your owne communion and waie, or the Chur∣ches which are commonly called the Reformed: Or else all Chur∣ches whatsoever that are so called, as, besides your owne and the Reformed, the Churches of the Anabaptists, Antinomians, and such like: And I have reason to propound this question, your words being so doubtfull: Now if your words and phrases be ta∣ken in the first sence, of your Churches only, that those sinnes and no other are to be the subject of Excommunication, then great sins and errours according to the Scripture, and judged so by Orthodox Churches, may escape Excommunication; and on the contrarie, many matters, which according to Scripture are neither sinnes nor errours, but only your Churches hold them so, may have that dreadfull sentenee passe upon them: but if you meane it in the lar∣gest sence, for all kind of Churches, and for the received princi∣ples and practises of Christianitie professed and acknowledged in all the Churches, then more sinnes and errours so judged by the word, by most Churches, and by your owne Churches too, will not be acknowledged for such in all the rest of the Churches, and so shall escape that censure: But if you should say, you meane onely the Reformed-churches commonly so called, and the common received practises professed by them, it cannot be so understood (as is evident) by your own expressions in this passage about Excom∣munication.

So that here are strange unsafe rules to goe by in the censure of Excommunication, and I judge it is a part of the new light, and now truths of these times, never yet given by any learned Classicall Authour. How much better were it for Churches to make the subject of Excommunication, such sins and errours which the Scripture hath made so, and those sinnes to be agreed upon, by common consent in Assemblies, and Synods so drawne up for all to know them. But if it be objected that this may hinder fur∣ther light, and an after discoverie. I answer, when any thing more shall come to be found out, this need be no hinderance unto any light; but by the publike Government, and common consent, upon good grounds may be added: But this your judgement a∣bout the censure of Excommunication I feare is calculated for the Page  67 Meridian of pretended liberty of conscience. Now this position of holding the subject of Excommunication, to be onely such sins and errours as are against the parties knowne light, and the com∣mon received practises of Christianity professed in all Churches, and no other to be the subject of it, tends much to the tolerating of Sects and Heresies, which in this impure age is by many men, and by too many of the Church way so studiously promoted a∣gainst the nature of Reformation and true zeale. But if one of the great ends of Excommunication be to preserve others from in∣fection, and to keepe the Church of God pure, (as Divines teach;) then thuogh the party offending shall pretend such sins or errours are not against his knowne light, neither contrary to the received principles of Christianity universally acknowledged in all the rest of the Churches, yet Excommunication ought to be exercised by them who have power in the Church.

And for our direction in these or whatsoever else requisite to the manage of them. We had these three principles more especi∣ally*in our eye, to guide and steere our practise by.

1. First, The supreame rule without us, was the Primitive patterne, and example of the Churches erected by the Apostles. Our consciences were possessed with that reverence and adoration of the fulnesse of the Scriptures, that there is therein a compleate suffici∣encie, as to make the man of God perfect so also to make the Chur∣ches of God perfect; (meere circumstances we except, or what rules the law of nature doth in common dictate) if the directions and examples therein delivered were fully knowne and followed. And although we cannot professe that sufficiencie of knowledge as to be able to lay forth all those rules therein, which may meet with all cases and emergencies, that may or sometimes did fall out a∣mongst us, or that may give satisfaction unto all Queries possible to be put unto us; yet we found principles enough, not only funda∣mentall and essentiall to the being of a Church, but superstructo∣rie also for the well-being of it, and those to us cleare and certain, and such as might well serve to preserve our Churches in peace and from offence, and would comfortably guide us to heaven in a safe way: And the observation of so many of those particulars to be laid forth in the word, became to us a more certaine evidence Page  68 and cleare confirmation that there were the like rules and ruled cases for all occasions whatsoever, if we were able to discerne them. And for all such cases wherein we saw not a cleare resolu∣tion from Scripture, example or direction, we still professedly suspended, untill God should give us further light, not daring to seeke out what was defective in our light in matters divine with human•… prudence (th•… fatall errour to Reformation) lest by sow∣ing any peece of the old garment unto the new, we should make the rent worse, we having this promise of grace for our encou∣ragement in this, which in our publike Assemblies was often for our comfort mentioned, that in thus doing the will of God we should know more.

From the Narration of your way and practises of your Churches, you come now to shew the three great principles above all others by which you guided your selves in your practise; which I come now to examine, and doubt not but as you have exprest them to discover to the Readers their weaknesse and defectivenesse, and ea∣sily to take off, all the seeming strength of the reasons hinted in them for your selves, and against us.

To the first Principle, the supreame rule without you, the pri∣mitive patterne and example of the Churches erected by the Apo∣stles (which also is exprest by you in the third page) as that sa∣credpillar of fire to guide you by in all the positive part of Church worship and Government. I answer, why is the old Testament forgotten by you, and in both these places, not so much as men∣tioned. What, is the old Testament no patterne, nor example to you in Church-worship and governement, nor is there nothing re∣corded there any part of the sacred pillar of fire to guide you by: Consider whether in this, you follow not too much the example of some Heretiques and erroneous spirits, who will have nothing to doe with the old Testament, in the points they hold: This is the way of the Anabaptists, and of the Antinomians, both of old and at this day, and I am sorry such men as you, in such a formall Apologie and Narration of your way (as you hold out this to be) should so farre forget your selves, as to countenance such persons so farre. And I must tell you, that your search was insufficient and your rule too short, if you looked only on the first Apostolike Page  69 directions, patterne and examples of those Primitive Churches e∣rected by the Apostles: For in the old Testament there are many rules, directions and examples, as a pillar of fire to guide the Churches now by (as that Rom. 15. 4. showes) namely those ex∣amples and rules of morall and common equitie, else the Church of God should loose now many a good ground, for many practises, and you and your partie have been ill advised to fetch grounds out of the old Testament for many things you hold and practise. There are some things you practise that you have no proofe for at all out of the new Testament, either in example or precept: As for instance in the point of Ordination by the people without Officers you al∣leadge the 8. Numb. 20. but can bring none out of the new Testa∣ment, so for the Church-covenant you multiply places out of the old, as Ier. 50. 5. &c. But none out of the new, and so for that power which you allow Christian Magistrates in the Church, you fetch from the old Testament. So in the point of idolatrie against the naming the names used by Idolaters, you bring all out of the old Testament (as Mr Burroughs in his Exposition on Hosea 2.) And without the taking in the old Testament (which you so wholly forget in this your first principle) you would loose much strength in severall points you hold and practise, against some who differ from you. As in the Baptisme of Infants from the Covenant made with Abra∣ham and his seed, and the Circumcision of Infants, as in keeping the Christian Sabbath from the fourth Commandement, as in speaking against humane inventions in the worship of God from the second Commandement, with other particulars of the same kind. Now if you will use the old Testament in some examples and commands, as you doe, (though here you forget to mention it,) Then grounds out of the old Testament, (in matters not cere∣moniall and judiciall proper to the Jewes policie, Nation and times,) but in things of morall and common equitie will justifie other practises. And how then you can escape in the way of Church government, the lawfullnesse of appeales from lower Ju∣dicatories to higher, and the lawfullnesse of Formes of publike prayer composed and prescribed, with other particulars, I see not: But because you foresaw these, and such like, (as that of a Nationall Page  70 Church) you here decline the old Testament and speake only of the New, and but of a part only of that too, namely that of the Acts of the Apostles, and the Epistles, as your words in both pages, third and ninth, intimate, The Churches erected by the A∣postles, and the first Apostolike directions, patternes and examples of the Primitive Churches recorded in the new Testament, which reaches no farther then the Acts of the Apostles and the Epistles: But though you doe not deale fairely in abridging the Scriptures, and making your supreme rule so narrow, as the Acts and Epistles; and I might justly stand upon it, to make you inlarge your rule to the books both of Old and new Testament: yet well knowing the Acts of Apostles and Epistles will cast you; I am well contented, and most ready at that weapon alone to try it with you, and care not in the present controversie of the Church-way, as to let all other Authours, so for the old Testament, and that part of the New too, the Gospells, to stand by; And if you can make good out of the Acts of the Apostles and the Epistles by any Apostolike dire∣ction, patterne or example of those Primitive Churches, directed by the Apostles, many things you practise and maintaine, as Or∣dination of Ministers by the people alone, as your Church-covenant, as a few private Christians to gather and constitute a Church, as persons to be members of such Congregations where they live constantly many miles distant from their Ministers and the mee∣ting places, with other such, I will yeeld the cause, and if I make not good from the Acts of the Apostles and Epistles, things main∣ly opposed by you, but affirmed by us; As that of particular Chur∣ches to consist of more then can meet in one place to be edified in all parts of worship, with other such, then blame me: So that I may say of your Church-way, and the questions between us, (as Tertullian answered long since some hereticks,) That if they were to be determined by the Scriptures they would not subsist; * Now as to the ground of this principle within you, yeur consci∣ences were possest with that reverence and adoration of the full∣nesse of the Scriptures, that there is therein a compleate suffi∣ciency, as to make the man of God perfect, so also to make the Churches of God perfect, &c. First, I answer, Your ground here alledged, doth not prove your supreame rule without you, (name∣ly Page  71 the Primitive patterne and example of the Churches erected by the Apostles) to be compleatly sufficient to make the Churches of God perfect, because that speakes as of the whole Scriptures, that there is in them a compleat sufficiencie and not as of a part, now though the Scriptures may be and are so full and perfect, yet every part may not: you can in reason conceive that the whole may be compleatly sufficient to all ends and uses for which it was intended, when a part or parts may not suffice. And that Scripture which you allude unto for proofe, 2 Tim. 3. v. 16, 17. speakes of the whole Scripture, and not of a part only, the Papists would have 〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉 in that text, to signifie non totam, sed omnem Scriptu∣ram, and so would give that praise, not to the whole body of the Scriptures, but to particular parts of it: Learned aChamier snewes the contrary, how that the whole Scripture is here rather to be understood, and he proves it by a threefold argument, and in this great question between us and the Papists, An Scriptura Christianum perf•…ctum reddat, resolves the question to be under∣stood of the whole canon in the Old and new Testament: And so doth b Dr Whitakers, by which you may judge how unsufficient and short your first principle was, being only a part of the Scrip∣tures, but not the whole, and you may observe the falla∣ciousnesse of your reason propounded to argue from the whole to a part, because the whole Scriptures have a compleat suffi∣ciencie to make the Churches of God perfect, therefore the Pri∣mitive patterne and example of the Churches erected by the Apostles have too. Secondly, I doe also adore the fullnesse of the Scriptures, and God forbid that I should take from the Scriptures any thing God gives unto them, or that which in the Scripture is attributed unto it; but we must not give unto the Scriptures more then what God intended them for, or what the Scripture affirmes of it selfe, for that is to be wise above what is written, and to adde unto the word, and may be and hath been a ground of dangerous consequence in the Church of God, and to cleare it from your own instances of exception: (Meere circumstances we except, &c.) Now suppose some to speake as you doe, and to be really acted also upon the same ground of the fullnesse and suf∣ficiencie of the Scriptures, should yet affirme of the Scriptures Page  72 without all exception of me 〈◊〉 circumstances, and of the rules which the law of nature doth in common dictate, and should say nothing must be practised, no not in meere circumstances, but by some direction from the word; and as for the rules the law of nature doth in common dictate, in them also the Scripture gives light how to doe them, and thereupon should speake as you doe all along in this Section; would not this prove inconvenient and trouble you in your Churches; Nay suppose some should so extoll the fullnesse and sufficiencie of the Scriptures that they should hold them so perfect and sufficient for all Christians as to be a perfect rule for all civill government, and that Chrstian common-wealths ought to be governed by lawes only there recorded and by no other (which opinion in substance Carolostadius held; That in Courts of justice Judges should not proceed according to * humane laws, but according to the law of Moses; and so for Mi∣litary practises should hold all the way of Warre must be founded upon the Scriptures, and thereupon should clamour against any other art and way of Warre, then what was practised there. What would you reply to these men, or what strength were there in such principles, would not you answer them, in what sense the Scriptures were perfect, and how they must understand it. Men have often by giving more to the most excellent creatures and things then the Scriptures allow, fallen into great errors and mistakes. The Papists and Ubiquitaries speake highly of the body of Christ, and 'tis all in the way of magnifying it, and Schuvenckfeldius did boast himselfe to be the Assertor of the glory of the flesh of Christ in Heaven, (which other Preachers neg∣lected * or else opposed,) and yet all these held great errors about the body, and humane nature of Christ, under the notion of advancing it. So in the present controversie, by giving to the Scriptures that which God hath not given to them, both is, and may be a ground of error. And therefore I referre you for the true sense of that question concerning the fullnesse and sufficiencie of the Scriptures to make the Churches of God perfect, unto the answers our Pro∣testant Divines give the Papists in that controversie about the perfection of the Scriptures. (And by the way, let me commend to you, and all the Ministers of the Church-way, to study our Pro∣testant Page  73 writers, as Whitakers, Chamier, &c. against the Papists upon the Church, and of the notes of the visible Church, upon the controversie concerning the Scriptures, the autho∣rity of Councels and Synods; and you shall find satisfaction to most of the materiall grounds which have misled you in your Church-way.) In which answers you shall find, that the perfe∣ction and sufficiencie of the Scripture is principally meant in mat∣ters of doctrine, and in points necessary to salvation: And for policie and externall order wherein the Scriptures doe reach to them, it is to be understood of the Essentials, Substantials and Fun∣damentals of Government and Discipline, and not of the acciden∣tals, accessaries and circumstantials, as I could abundantly out of Calvin, Beza, Zanchius, Iunius, Daneus shew you: But I intend a whole Tractate upon that question of the Scriptures, how farre they are a rule for all matters of externall government and order in the visible Church, with an answer to this objection particular∣ly, and will not enlarge further, saving only that I will adde the resolution of this question and case out of Whitaker, Chamier and Cameron, who are full and cleare, that 'tis not against the per∣fection and sufficiencie of the Scriptures, that all matter of externall order and policie are not laid down in the word: Learned Cha∣mier shewes the judgement of the Churches of France, Holland, nay he shews, 'tis the perpetuall opinion of all the Protestants, and he adds, Yea truly to speake (as the matter is:) The Church cannot be altogether without unwritten traditions, and he instan∣ces in certain Rites according to places, times, and persons, change∣able and various: So Cameron, For since the Scripture hath*been ordained of God to make one wise unto salvation, and perfect unto every good work, it must without doubt containe all doctrine necessary to salvation, otherwise it could not attaine its end: Let us then adore (as Tertullian speakes) the fulnesse of the Scriptures, and let us not heare (as Athanasius speaketh) neither receive any thing besides or above them in that which concernes the doctrine of faith. For touching the policie and ceremonies used in the Church; it is another matter, we avouch that the Fathers did not thinke, themselves bound to give an account of them by the Scripture. So Dr Whitakers speaks also the same in that Page  74 question and controversie of the perfection of the Scriptures against humane traditions.

Catholici in hoc toto negotio distinguendum putant inter r•…s quae traduntur in Ecclesia & rationem earum tradendarum: &*res ipsas esse duorum generum, scilicot alias in quibus substantia est, & quasi conpus religionis Christianae; non tantum ad fidem, sed etiam ad mores formandos, politiam{que} Ecclesiae continendam: proinde necessarias ex vi institutionis divinae: alias eju•… essentiae velut appondices, ejus{que} corporis ornamenta; ne{que} ex s•…, ne{que} ex institutiono divina necessarias, sed potiu•…〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉, & politi•… tantum causa in usum receptas: ut sunt disciplinae partos varijs cae∣no•…ibus sancitae.

Imo vero ut fateamur quod res est, omnino non potest Ecclesia carere Traditionibus non scrip•…is; sive intelligas quotidianam tra∣dendae*fid•…libus ojus veritatis, quae non aliunde hauritur quam è libris sacris rationem: sive ritus quosdampro locis, temp•…ribus, & pers•…nis varios: aptos tamen exercendae pietati, charitati{que} conservandae: qui etsi non extent in canone totidem literis, tamen a nemine contemni debent, eo ipso quod ab Ecclesia, id est pa∣storibus instituti sunt: dum tamen nihil officiant aut sinceritati doctrinae aut libertati conscientiae: cui propriè leges prescribit, non nisi Deus.

Non dicimus, omnes liberas ceremonias esse nominatim in Scripturis traditas, ut quemadmodum se gerere debeant homines*in sacris caetibus & hujusmodi, quas esse varias & 〈◊〉 pro temporum & personarum ratione minime ignoramus: de cae∣remonijs (inquam) liberis quae ad externam tantum politiam & decorum pertinent non contendimus, sed de necessaria doctrina. Haec perpetua; illae vero non perpetuae, sed ad tempora accom∣modatae.

Deinde fatemur Apostolos in singulis Ecclesiis ritus aliquos at{que} consuetudines ordinis & decoris causa sanxisse, non autem*scripsisse; quia hi ritus non fuerunt perpetui futuri, sed liberi, qui pro commodo & temporum ratione mu•…ri possunt. Praescriptos autem ab illis esse ejusmodi ritus aliquos ad honestam Ecclesiae〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉accommodatos, pater ex 1 Cor. 11. & 14. cap. Tantum ge∣neralis regula habetur in Scripturis, omnes istosritus ad adifica∣tionem Page  75 ac decorum esse dirigendos; sed ipsi particulares ritus non proponuntur. At dicimus omnia, quae necessaria sunt, sive ad fidem sive ad vitam spectent, apertè & abundè in Scripturis explicari.

Now as for the exception made by you of this rule of meere circumstances, and the rules of the law of nature, where what you affirme, seems to amount to this, that you practised all the examples of the Primitive Churches erected by the Apostles, (excepting those.) Suffer me to aske you these few questions upon your ex∣ceptions made of this first rule.

First, What you meane by meere circumstances, and what by the rules the law of nature doth in common dictate? be∣cause the Reader may be much deceived in these generall and doubtfull expressions: you should have done well to have particularized what you judge circumstances, and what meere circumstances, and what be the rules the law of nature doth in common dictate, as also have laid downe before the Reader, how you in your Church-way keepe unto these; and I aske the ra∣ther, because I find a Sermon of Mr Bridge, (one of the Authors of this Apologie) preacht before the House of Commons not * long before this Apologie came forth, that makes none of these exceptions, but excepts and excludes them, shewing that in the vi∣sible Church Gods word is our line able to reach unto all particular affaires of the Churches: and in particular he labours to answer that of circumstances, and perverts two sayings of Luther and Bishop Iewel.

Secondly, Whether you doe practise and observe your own rule here given with the exceptions made by you? or whether you doe not much depart from it in your Church-way, not yeelding to meere circumstances nor the rules the law of nature doth in com∣mon dictate? as for instance, receiving the Lords Supper at night, contrary to the practise of the reformed Churches, standing upon that circumstance of time; denying appeales from the particular Congregations, whereas appeales are a rule the law of nature doth in common dictate.

Thirdly, I demand of you, how you could so nakedly propound the Apostolicall directions, patternes and examples of the Primi∣tive Churches to walke by, (excepting meere circumstances and Page  76 the rules of the law of nature,) and not except withall extraordi∣nary and miraculous, personall and particular, occasionall and ac∣cidentall, temporary and locall patterns and examples. I owne the Scripture for the rule, rightly understanding it, and in matters of Discipline and Church-order professe to walke by it, desiring to be tied to the Scripture patterns, particularly to the patterns of examples and precepts recorded in the new Testament, (provided this be understood in essentials and fundamentals of order, in mat∣ters of perpetuall use, and of a common reason to all times and places;) only I adde that in some things, where in matter of order and externall government there may be no such cleare directions either by precept or example, there generall rules of the word, with deductions out of Scripture examples, and from precepts by way of Analogie, with rules of common prudence be taken in too. Now the interpretation of this rule (as I have laid it downe) be∣ing rejected, and the rule simply taken up without such limitations, will produce a wilde and strange discipline and Church-order, to practise all things recorded in the Acts of the Apostles and Epi∣stles, without distinction and difference of those times, persons, places, and ours: and on the other hand to practise nothing but what hath a cleare example, or precept is strange too, and in so doing, reasonable men cannot become a Church society, nor exer∣cise Church communion. And however in matters of externall government and administration of holy things in the visible Church some pretend to this, to practise whatever they find recor∣ded in the Scriptures, and to practise nothing whatsoever they find not there, yet none of the Independents, no not the highest forme of them, the Anabaptists, nor the highest sort of Anabaptists (who were called Apostolici from their pretending to imitate the Apo∣stles in all things) ever yet have or doe practise all patternes and examples recorded in the new Testament, or are contented with them alone, but practise somewhat over and above not particu∣larly recorded in Scripture. I could lay downe a catalogue of many particulars specified in the Acts of the Apostles and Epi∣stles, not practised in your Churches, nor in any Churches of the independent way, as also of many things practised by you (which we never read of in the Scriptures,) so that all the Independents Page  77 are in many things according to the first patterne both defective and excessive. But I referre the full handling of this to a Tra∣ctate I intend concerning the Scriptures, How farre the Scriptures are a rule for all matters of Church government and order in the visible Church; I adde only one thing for the Readers sake, that they be carefull to understand this first principle of yours, not so nakedly as you lay it downe in page 8, 9, 10, 11. because it hath been, is, and may be a rock to split many on, and an Ignis fatuus to lead many into waters, instead of a sacred pillar of fire to guide to Heaven in a safe way. This foolish imitation of the Apostles in all things in matters of externall order, hath been and is the great foundation of evils on all hands, both in many practises and points of Popery, and amongst the Anabaptists, (as I could demon∣strate in particulars.) Learned aDanaeus in his Commentaries upon 1. Tim. cap. 5. speakes of it. bSchlusselburgius writes also, that there is a sort of Anabaptists cal'd Apostolici, so named because they professed to imitate the Apostles in all things, they washed one anothers feet, they held all things ought to be com∣mon, they travailed up and downe without staffe, shooes, cloake, money, because of Christs words, they went up to the tops of hou∣ses to preach, because Christ had said, what you have heard in the eare, preach upon the house top. Now how farre the want of these limitations and distinctions in this your first rule hath led some of you into errors and strange practises and may leade you further, as into annoynting the sick with oyle, baptising in rivers, &c. I leave you to consider of.

But yet this first and great principle upon which you went and reared up your new Church way, how difficult and abstruse a rule, Page  78 and how doubtfull a ground-worke doe you make it, before you passe from it, by making that supposition upon it, If the directions and examples therein delivered were fully knowne and followed. And that you cannot professe that sufficiency of knowledge as to be able to lay forth all those rules, &c. Now then brethren consider with your selves according to your owne grant, how for all this principle of the Primitive patterne to guide you by, yet it being so hard to know and find out the way, and you not having that suffi∣ciencie of knowledge to lay forth the rules, how easily might you be out of the way then for all this principle, and how can we in∣deed thinke otherwise of you, being a few men and going by your selves: So that supposing the Apostolicall directions and Primi∣tive examples of the Churches (not excluding the Old Testament and Gospels) to be the only rule of the outward administration and government of the visible Church, and granting these were more especially in your eye to guide and steere your practise by, (considering by your own confession there is so much difficulty to make these out, and to lay downe what is a binding and standing direction, and what not, what is meerly circumstantiall and what not, and how to apply many things which fall out to such rules and such examples recorded;) Yet wee may see, how unsafe and dangerous it was for you, and for a few per∣sons to set up Churches and Church-government, and we may hence learne, what great use and need there is of Synods and As∣semblies to draw out Church-government and discipline, and still in all difficult cases to meet for the debating and determining of things. And by the way let me admonish many of your follow∣ers of their boldnesse and rashnesle of determining in matters of Church-government, and order, holding all things about disci∣pline and Church-government to be so manifestly and clearely laid downe in the Scriptures, as the light of the Sunne, and thereup∣on censuring many for not holding with them, imputing it to their want of self-deniall and spirituall knowledge: By this they may see their great Leaders judge otherwise, who speaking upon the Scriptures being a compleate rule to make the Churches perfect, put in a caution, and declare, They cannot professe that sufficien∣cie of knowledge, as to be able to lay forth all those rules therein, Page  79 which may meet with all cases and emergencies that may or some∣times did fall out amongst them. Now if the Apologists, men so a∣ble cannot professe that sufficiencie of knowledge, &c. who yet according to their owne Narration tell us, how they saw the darke part before many others, and how they had all that light of the Non-conformists, Reformed-churches, New-England, &c. What shall we thinke of a few private illiterate Christians setting up of Churches, and framing a government, will this assure them (though the Scriptures be a perfect rule for Church-government, and this is the supreme rule they goe by) that therefore they are in the right, certainly the great difficultie in knowing and finding out the directions and examples, and in applying them aright, and their weake knowledge will give ground sufficient to all reasona∣ble men to suspect the contrary. And for your selves Brethren, the Reader hath greater reason to judge from what you here grant a∣bout the difficultie of the Scriptures in the Church-way, and your insufficiencie and ignorance in many cases and to many queries, that you might be out of the way, then from the sufficiency of the Scriptures to make Churches perfect, and your making the Scrip∣tures your supreame rule, that you only should be in the right; and withall taking-in this, that the Reformed Churches you depart from, (and all along reflect upon in this Apologeticall Narration,) holding the Scriptures (in a true sense) to have a perfection for Church-government, and setting them up as the supreame rule to eye continually, and having the great advantage of you knowing the directions and examples in Scripture better then you by reason of their great learning, numbers, long studying these points, all you speake here of this principle as a ground to take men with and possesse the Readers of the truthof your way rather then theirs, hath no strength in it, but the scale of sufficiencie of knowledg and ability of finding out the rules and applying, being heavier on the Refor∣med Churches side, and the other scale of making the Scriptures the rule, equall to yours also; you must needs be found light compared with them. But after your supposition of the great difficulty of understanding this rule, and profession of the non-sufficiencie of your knowledge, by which you weaken so much what you would gaine by the narration of setting up this first principle, as the su∣preame Page  80 rule without you, yet, before you leave it, in the follow∣ing words you seeme to affirme it, Indeed interfeering and hove∣ring about, not knowing well where to light and to settle between the perfection and sufficiencie of the Scriptures to all Church mat∣ters, and the difficultie of finding out the rules and directions (As the precedent words and subsequent put together doe shew) For you found principles enough not only fundamentall and essentiall, but superstructorie also, and those to you cleare and certaine, and such as might well serve, &c. Now let the Reader judge, if these words doe not not declare a sufficiencie of your knowledge with∣out either Ifs or Ands: But you must pardon me, if I doe not be∣leeve, you found principles enough superstructorie and that upon these two following grounds.

1. Had you found principles enough superstructorie for the wel∣being of your Churches, and those cleare and certaine, and such as might well serve to preserve your Churches in peace and from of∣fence, and would comfortably guide you to heaven in a safe way. How came it to passe that you made no better a use of them, for the well-being of your Churches to have preserved them in peace and from offence, but that in so short a time so many offences and dif∣ferences should fall out, and you go so uncomfortably to heaven, doubting whether you were in the right way for Church-govern∣ment and order.

2. If you had found out principles enough superstructorie, why did you not name them, at least some of them? you might have done well to have given the Reader a taste of them, it would have given good content, especially in such a Narration: I am of opi∣nion both upon your totall silence and upon some search into these points, that besides the fundamentall and essentiall principles to the being of a visible Ministeriall Church you found not many super∣structories laid downe particularly in the Primitive Churches ei∣ther in practise or precept (namely ordinary, perpetuall, &c.) And I doe desire you (setting aside Fundamentall essentiall and sub∣stantiall principles) that for the superstructories upon them, and your deductions, you would give me proofes from the Scripture for many of your practises (setting aside generall rules of the word and common rules of reason and prudence.) And whereas you Page  81 make the observation of so many of those particulars laid forth in the word, to become a more certain evidence and cleare confirma∣tion that there were the like rules and ruled cases for all occasions whatsoever, if you were able to discerne them. Had you exprest any of those particulars, the Reader might have gained somewhat, and I could have better told from your instances, what to have an∣swered you; and might have shewne you the dissimilitude, how they might not have inferr'd the rest; but here, as in other passa∣ges of your booke, you find it safest to be in the clouds, and to lie hid in generals. But grant it for once you observed many particu∣lars. It followes not therefore from many to all. But this is a point and principle wherein weake arguments will become certain evidence and cleare confirmation to you. But let me hint only some things to you now (because this discourse is but the answer of a Narration, not of all arguments that may be brought) you are mistaken both in your Observation and your cleare confirma∣tion of what followes, for you shall find that in the superstructo∣ries of the government of the Church, there are but few particu∣lars laid downe in the patterne and example of the Primitive Chur∣ches, and those primitive practises are not such a rule given by God in matters of that nature, as that all things then practised must be so in all after times, or that nothing afterwards might be practised, but what is found there. For, besides meere circum∣stances, and the rules of the law of nature, there are in severall Churches, other things tending to the better edification of those Churches, to comelinesse, decencie, outward reverence, order, peace, (grounded upon generall rules of the word) which in other Churches are not so, by reason of the different customes of such countries, and the diversities of times and places wherein they were. (For that is comelinesse and reverence in one country, which is not in another.) So that my observation of so few par∣ticular superstructories recorded in the Primitive Churches, name∣ly of common, ordinary, perpetuall order, with the different pra∣ctises in the severall Churches, recorded in the new Testament, and sometimes in the same Church, in many things of the outward administration of externall order are sound proofes to me, there are not rules nor ruled cases for many superstructories in externall Page  82 Government. And as to that clause which followes next in this Section, for all such cases wherein you saw not a cleare resolution from Scripture, example or direction, you still professedly suspen∣ded, untill God should give you further light, not daring to eeke out what was defective in your light in matters divine with hu∣mane prudence, &c. For answer, I must tell you, you either saw that in the Scripture, that we cannot see by all search, or else you practised many things that have no cleare resolution from Scrip∣ture, neither in example or direction, and pray in your Reply to this answer, shew me what cleare Resolution you saw from Scrip∣ture for your Church-covenant. If it be so cleare shew it us. What▪ came the word of God out from you, or came it to you only, hath God given us eyes to see and know the mysteries of his kingdome, to see such things as no glorious hypocrite in the highest forme can see, and can we not see what is common to hypocrites as well as * to true Saints: Certainly had Mr Goodwin had such cleare resolu∣tion from Scripture for the Church-covenant, he would never have returned such an answer after so long a time of receiving Mr Iohn Goodwins letter, written with such Giant-like confidence against the Church-covenant, as to desire after many weeks, longer day to give satisfaction, in regard Church-covenant lay so deepe and re∣mote amongst the fundamentals of Church-fellowship, which debt I beleeve was never yet paid to this day. I should be loath for my part in any thing I practise or hold to have a cleare resolu∣tion from Scripture, to put off my Brother for proofe of it till to morrow. Give me an Apostolicall example or rule (if you can) where ever the people alone made Ministers; why did you not here suspend, how durst you be made Ministers in this way by the people alone, and either be Ministers without Imposition of hands at all, or if any Imposition, not by the laying-on of the hands of the Presbyterie, but the hands of the people, both which are not onely without any example of Scripture, but against the Primi∣tive patterne and example. Give me a Primitive patterne where∣in baptized persons professing the faith of Christ, and walking so, may not be admitted to Fellowship and communion in the Lords Supper, without professing their membership of some par∣ticular Congregation. Give me a word, either of precept or Page  83 example, where ever the lay-Elders did examine persons profes∣sing the faith, whether they were fit for Church-fellowship, and thereupon did propound their names in the Congregation, with many such particulars; so that you have dared to eeke out divine matters with your owne inventions, not indeed with humane Prudence, but against humane Prudence and reason (as that in∣stance in the way of your making Ministers by the people clearely shewes:) And I desire that you and others would consider what I say upon this occasion, that this is so preposterous and irrationall a rule, that had you indeed, or should others observe it, to pra∣ctise nothing in matter of externall order, unlesse you have a cleare resolution from Scripture in an example or direction, you had ne∣ver met together in a Church-way, nor can any society or com∣pany of men meet to those ends of constituting a Church and Go∣vernment and walking in the practise of it, but that some things must be done not particularly mentioned in the Scriptures. As for your calling humane prudence, the fatall errour to Reformati∣on, I judge that the want of it in Reformation hath still proved fatall, as amongst the Anabaptists, Brownists, and in New-England also, till humane prudence eeked out what was defective in the way of their gathering Churches at the first, and till hu∣mane prudence punished by banishment and imprisonment (un∣der the name of disturbers of the civill peace) many members of their Churches for Familisme, Anabaptisme, &c. without which courses, and others or the like kinde, their Churches and Common-wealth had beene long ago•… ruined. And I much wonder you stile humane prudence, the fatall errour to Reformation, and make Reformation of the Church and hu∣mane prudence so opposite, especially you your selves know∣ing and expressing in the 28th page of your Apologie, the cal∣ling of this Assembly of Divines, The way of God wisely assu∣med by the prudence of the State. I suppose you call it not the way of God, as holding there is a cleare resolution from Scripture in any Apostolicall primitive patterne of the Churches erected by the Apostles of an A•…embly so chosen by the Magi∣strates to draw up a gov•…ment and direction in worship for so many Ch•…s, (many of which Church•… have not so much Page  84 as any one of their members there) but onely, a way of God accor∣ding to generall rules and Prudence, and so, wisely assumed by the Parliament, and yet I hope you and your party will not after∣wards, if the Assembly should determine against Independen∣cie, stile that the fatall errour to Reformation. But how ever we gaine thus much from your being members of the Assem∣bly, voting in it, and calling your selves by that name, Members of the Assembly of Divines, namely a cleare answer, (that hu∣mane prudence is not alwayes a fatall errour to Reformation, and, that a man needs not alwaies suspend his practise, though he have not a cleare resolution of example or direction from the Primitive Churches (witnesse the acceptance of your be∣ing chosen to the Assembly.) As to that Metaphoricall ex∣pression of yours, the ground of your judging humane pru∣dence so fatall to Reformation, Least by sowing any peece of the old garment to the new, you should make the rent worse. I answer, if that be not understood aright and soberly, it hath been and will be the ground of great deformation in the Church, and of running into errours on the right hand: Thus the Ana∣baptists, least they should sow any peece of the old garment un∣to the new, renounce their Baptisme, and the Brownists will have the materiall Churches pull'd downe, and our Ministers and Congregations quite made null, and all our Ministers and Con∣gregations newly ordained and constituted. The ground of which mistakes ariseth from not considering the difference between the gathering and planting a Church out of Iudaisme and Heathe∣nisme, and the purging and building up a Church corrupted and fallen. As for that promise of encouragement made to such a suspension (which you say) in your publike Assemblies was for your comfort often mentioned, you should have done well to have quoted the text, and then I might have examined the place, whe∣ther there had been a foundation for any such promise to a few per∣sons in a particular Congregation, withdrawing from the fellow∣ship of other Churches, and forbearing all things in matter of ex∣ternall order (though agreed upon by other Churches) without a cleare resolution from Scripture example, or direction, that in so do∣ing they should know more in the matter of order and govern∣ment.

Page  85A second Principle we carried along with us in all our resolutions,*was, not to make our present judgement and practise a binding law unto our selves for the future, which we in like manner made conti∣nuall profession of upon all occasions. We had too great an instance of our own frailty in the former way of our conformity; and therefore in a jealousie of our selves, we kept this reserve, (which we made open and constant professions of) to alter and retract (though not lightly) what ever should be discovered to be taken up out of a mis-understanding of the rule: Which principle we wish were (next to that most supreame, namely, to be in all things guided by the perfect will of God) enacted as the most sacred law of all other, in the midst of all other laws and Canons Ecclesiasticall in Christian States and Churches throughout the world.

This is a dangerous principle to goe by in the Church of God, excellent for unstable men, and wanton wits fitted for libertins, and running heads that love no fixed nor setled government, and serves well to the humour of a few particular persons, but perni∣tious and sad for Nationall Churches and Kingdomes, a reserve in∣deed and a good back doore to go out at from Brownisme to Ana∣baptisme, and from Anabaptisme to Sebaptisme, and from thence to Famialisme and Socinianisme; It is a ready prepared way for those that would draw men into errours under the pre∣tence of new light, to worke upon, and so to lead men from one errour to another till there be no end. Which kind of prin∣ciple of uncertainty in matters of religion, the Remonstrants did hold forth in those sad times of the troubles of the Churches in the Netherlands, that so they might overturne all formes and har∣monies, whereby the Churches both within themselves and one towards another might be setled and associated: that was one of the scepticall rules of the Arminians, dies diem docet: But this principle of yours so carried all along in your resolutions, seemes to crosse that first principle of the Scriptures, the supreame rule and perfect for Church government; for in effect it is as much as to hold that the government and way of the Church visible is so uncertaine and doubtfull, as that little or none may be positively laid downe and concluded as Iure Divino. Now according to this second principle and profession of yours, why doe you make such Page  86 outeries and tragedies in the Church, forsaking all Churches for you know not what, even for that which you made open and con∣stant professions upon all occasions you would not be bound to; and pray how doth this agree with your principle of Church go∣vernment, that it is in all particulars perpetuall and unchangeable, whenas you will be changing it so often; But certainely when you first fell to your Church-way and took up this principle, you were not resolved what way to follow, but thought that in some yeares by adding now and then, and forsaking this and the other, you might attaine to something in the end: But let me aske you, ought men in the matters of Religion, and in things of the King∣dome of Christ to be Scepticks and so irresolved, or ought not men to be perswaded in their consciences? But I hope the Parliament will observe this great principle you were first acted by, and still are in all your Church-way, and will see how dangerous the tole∣rating of your way will be; for though you should for present hold nothing much different from the established rule, yet being allow∣ed what may you not come to; according to this principle, how shall any State be sure of you long what you will hold: What if you should bring in community of goods, baptizing in rivers, the holy Kisse into your Assemblies at the beginning and ending of your Ordinances, annointing sick persons with oyle? it is but ac∣cording to your principle: And we see you make so much of this principle and are so in love with it, that you wish it next to your first principle, enacted as the most sacred Law of all other, to live and walke by it in Christian States and Churches throughout the world; and I am perswaded if you would speake out, you wish it instead of all other Laws and Canons 〈◊〉: You are not content your selves to be Scepticks and loose in the government of the visible Church, but you would have all others to be li•… unto you, not to make their present judgement and practise a binding law for the future, but to make continuall professions upon all oc∣casions of altering. But let us consider what may be the reasons of such a passionate desire that this principle were enacted in all Churches, I conceive these following; 1. That others changing and altering as well as you, the imputation of inconstancy and lightnesse might not stick upon you. 2. That so you might gai•…Page  87 more to your way and Church, by possessing them with this prin∣ciple, (having this advantage to worke upon, and this engine to draw the people with:) There is nothing you have concluded on but you are free and at choice still to take what seemes most pro∣bable to you, (whereas if men be set downe and resolved they are not so apt to change.) 3. That so you might not, as you pretend, block up the way to further light, but keep alive that principle of New light, and New truths, and that men must not content them∣selves with old truths and the old light, but they must seeke out after New light; whereas establishment and setling of points (upon serious debates and disputes) both in points of doctrine with the fundamentals and substantials of discipline, as the truths of God and the way for men to walke in upon such Scriptures and reasons, will shut out such search (as you conceive;) but this is a mistake to imagine that if any evident light from Scripture should come in afterwards (especially considering that reformed Chur∣ches in their confessions and Articles, hold that particular Chur∣ches may erre and may receive increase of knowledge, and for matters of Discipline declare particularly, that in the accessaries, accidentals, circumstantials, Churches have liberty to change upon inconveniences and different occasions that may arise) that they are ever the further off from it. But this principle of irresolution and uncertainty in matters of Religion upon the ground of New light and New truths, as it is commonly laid downe and drunke in now by men of the Church-way, makes men unsatisfied, restlesse, doubtfull in their present practise, and upon searching when they can find none, the Devill and their own corruptions will make some, and brings them old errors for New truths, and men being possest by some that principles are to be new studied, and that there are New truths and New light never known before, Satan is not wanting to raise up one or other to vent errors under those notions (as we see at this day in the Antinomians and the Anabaptists) their great argument wherby they take so many, being that of New light and New truths which God hath revealed in these times. 4. I hope this principle so rooted in you, and your frailty in the former way of conformity, may be a reserve for you to come off from Independencie to Presbyterie upon the debates of the Assem∣bly, Page  88 and from your Church-way to the way of the reformed Churches, which I heartily pray may be the fruit of this principle so openly and constantly profest, and am not wholly out of hope (especially of some of you.)

Thirdly, We are able to hold forth this true and just Apologie unto the world, That in the matters of greatest moment and con∣troversie,*we still choose to practise safely, and so, as we had reason to judge that all sorts, or the most of all the Churches did acknowledge warrantable, although they make additaments thereunto.

To this third great principle of yours I answer:

1. To it generally as you lay it downe here generally, and after∣wards more particularly to the instances and particulars brought by you to make it good. In this principle you labour to cast an odium upon all the reformed Churches who differ from you, dea∣ling by them in such a medium and way as the Protestants doe by the Papists, wheras we alleadge against the Papists that the Pro∣testant Religion is via tuta, and what we practise they themselves cannot but allow, only they hold and practise over and above; as namely they adde to Christs Righteousnesse their own in the point of Justification, to Christs intercession, the intercession of the Vir∣gin Mary and Saints, to prayers unto God prayers to Angels and Saints, to the Scriptures the traditions of the Church, to our Sa∣craments (confest by themselves) five others, &c. So here you say that you chose to practise safely, and so as you had reason to judge other Churches did acknowledge warrantable; but they make additaments, and this you weave in all along in the parti∣cular instances under this head, and it lyes upon them to prove what they adde over and above: Now besides the great dissimi∣litude and difference of additaments in the things themselves be∣tween the Protestants and Papists, and you and the reformed Chur∣ches, the Papists additaments being in matters of faith and sub∣stance of worship, but the matters excepted against by you being about outward government and order, and that not so much about the things themselves, the officers, parts of worship, but about the different manner and way of them (as you acknowledge in your eighth pages) and so you had no such cause to insinuate such matters against the reformed Churches, yet consider that what you doe hold Page  89 forth and take as your medium, you have no good ground for, which will appeare in three particulars, and so your Apologie held forth unto the world is neither true nor just.

1. I will demonstrate that in many matters of greatest moment and controversie you did not still choose to practise safely, and so as you had reason to judge that all sorts or most of the Churches did acknowledge warrantable.

2. That the reformed Churches practised more safely then you and did not make additaments as you charge them.

3. That you in many Church practises have made additaments and superadditions, and that in more materiall things then in such circumstances wherein you tax the reformed Churches.

For the first of these three: Take these three Instances for the present. 1. It is a matter of great moment and controversie to forsake the publike Assemblies (which you confesse are true Chur∣ches and the body of Christ) and to set up separated assemblies without and against the leave of the Magistrate, Ministers and Chur∣ches: This is, by the judgment of all the godly and learned Divines of note, both in other Churches and in our own, condemned as un∣lawfull, by Calvin, Beza, Peter Martyr, Zanchius, Bullinger, Iunius, Pareus, Morneus, Arnesius, Voetius, &c. with Whitakers, Brightman, Perkins, Cartwright, Parker, Banes, Hildersham, Ball. &c. I could fill a booke with the testimonies of these and many others, and I doe challenge the Separatists of all sorts, whe∣ther them of the head-forme the Anabaptists, or of the middle-forme the old Brownists, or the lowest-forme the Semi-Separa∣tists, to give me any precept or allowed example of such a practise out of the Primitive patterne, shew it me and I will yeild the cause: As for that place Rev. 18. 4. you professe against that in your 6t page, of having any thoughts of our Churches or Ministers to be Antichristian and Babilonish; I could alledge many Scrip∣tures against this practise, Iude v. 19, &c. The Apostles who were sent by Christ into the world to make Disciples, and to bring men from Judaisme and Heathenisme to beleeve in Christ, and to plant Churches of such, yet they never taught nor practised to gather and separate some Christians from the rest, one part of the Church from the other, to goe constitute a purer Church, neither in Page  90Corinth, Philippi, &c. Although there were many corruptions, and many loose persons: But Paul taught and practised to cen∣sure and cast out evill persons (but in case those who had power neglected their duty) he never taught the godly to separate from the Lords Supper celebrated in the publike Assemblies, much lesse for a few to withdraw from their Pastours and other brethren, and to set up new Churches of themselves: You are Schollers and well read in the Scriptures; shew me but any such direction from the Apostles and I am yours. 2. It is a matter of moment and con∣troversie, the right making and calling of the Ministers of the Go∣spell, now all the reformed Churches according to the examples of Scripture, hold Ministers are not to be made by the people alone, and that the people have not power of Ordination and Imposi∣tion of hands but the Presbyters, and yet you have practised the being cal'd and made Ministers by the people, without the Impo∣sition of hands of the preaching Presbyters. 3. It is a matter of great moment and controversie, whether private Christians who were never trained up in Arts and learning, nor intended the Ministery, may in the publike Congregation Prophesie, which Pro∣phesying as it is not practised by the Reformed Churches, so by most of them it is not counted warrantable, and yet you allowed it in your Churches, to which I might adde more instances, but that the book would swell into too great a volume.

To the second head, it is evident the r•…formed Churchs practised more safely as in declining your way, in the last mentioned Instan∣ces, in not permitting such as are Lay-men to preach or prophesie, in not forsaking true Churches or true Ministery for the mixture of wicked men, but rather casting out such, who after admonition continue impenitent; so in other practises practising as the Apo∣stles, receiving men into their fellowship without any such curious inquirie and long detention, sending men from one to another, and requiring such preparatives and conditions to Church-fellow∣ship (as your Churches have done.) The wayes and practises the reformed Churches walked in, were the good old way, knowne and beaten for some score of yeares, in which so many great lights and godly people have walkt, and so more safe then bie and new wayes that a few men but of yesterday have taken up, and have Page  91 not yet well aired much lesse digested: And in the name of other reformed Churches, France, Holland, Scotland, I deny the things you charge them with to be additaments, or to be properly so called; for if the particulars instanced in by you, will be found to have a footing in the Scriptures and practised in the Primitive A∣postolicall Churches, then they will be no additaments, or if some of those things alleadged by you be of the nature of circumstances in the point of government and order, or according to the rules of the law of nature and the rules of common prudence, agreeable also to the generall rules of the word, then they are not truly by you called additaments and super-additions; for it is one thing to adde to the word of God and his worship, and another thing from ge∣nerall * rules of the word and common principles of the light of na∣ture and prudence, considering the differences of times, places, per∣sons, dispensations of guifts, to explicate and determine of many things in the administration of the visible Church: Now of things of this kind something must be which the word of God presuppo∣ses, or else you can have no setled government in the Church; and you may as well stile set Catechismes, confessions of Faith, reading of Chapters translated by others, singing of Psalmes between Chapters and after Sermons, preaching constantly upon Texts of Scripture, giving thanks after eating meat, &c. additaments, as some of the things instanced in by you. And let me hint this to you (which I know you understand well enough) but forget it often to paralell it with other passages, that in your practise of the administration of the Sacraments, and in other parts of worship you adde severall things besides what is recorded of Christ or the Apostles practise, or given particularly in any precept, (which I speake not to blame such practises) but to minde you such things are not fitly stiled additaments.

To the third, that you have made additaments and superaddi∣tions, and that in more materiall things then the reformed Chur∣ches, being your selves guilty of what you accuse them, this being the strongest plea, and the only plea to speake of in all your book by way of Argument, the rest being bare narrations, I shall make good against you by particular instances: the prooving of which practises of yours from Apostolicall directions must rest upon you Page  92 who doe them, and in so doing have departed from your selves and other reformed Churches; amongst many particulars take these following: To the Ministeriall preaching and dispensation of the word, you subjoyned prophesying by the people. 2. To the power of government by the Officers of the Church, you have added the power of the people. 3. In joyning in particular Con∣gregations you did super-adde the Church-covenant. 4. To the Pastour you super-adde the Teacher, as a necessary distinct Officer from him, and so necessary, as in one of your Churches you had two Teachers, and have been some yeares without a Pastour at all, (which is a sad condition for people to be without a Sheapheard.) 5. To the Deacon you added the Church-widdow as a distinct Officer, and as necessary for the perpetuall government of the Church. 6. To our Parochiall Assemblies in England, which you call in the sixt page the true Churches and body of Christ, and abhorre the thought of counting them Antichristian; where you say you hold communion as with true Churches, you have super-added and erected new-Churches. 7. To our Ministery of the Pa∣rochiall Assemblies (which is true also by your own confession and not Antichristian) you have superinstituted and superinducted another Ministery, any one of which particulars to be laid downe in the Primitive patterne I professedly deny, and it rests upon you who allow what reformed Churches practise, but in the particulars instanced and many more, doe practise over and above what the reformed Churches doe, to make evi∣dent and demonstrate upon cleare grounds, especially when men set up a new way, and leave the practise of all reformed Chur∣ches, (double light being required for separation in any kind, where∣as single light sufficeth for any man continuing in his standing.) And certainly of all other things in the matter of practise in the vi∣sible Church, the medling with the keyes of the kingdome of God, * both in doctrine and discipline, with the withdrawing and forsa∣king the true Churches of Christ, and the Ministerie thereof, wherein men have been converted and built up, and have conver∣ted and built-up so many, with the setting up of new Churches a∣gainst the leave and will of the civill Magistrate, without the con∣sent of those Churches departed from, and to the scandall and Page  93 griefe of so many godly Ministers and Christians, nay the scandall of all Reformed Churches, and all this under pretence of spiritu∣all power and liberty purchased for them by Christ, had need have a cleare and full proofe, and not be built only upon such weake and slight grounds, as flattering similitudes, witty allusions, re∣mote consequences, strained and forced Interpretations from hard and much controverted Scriptures: And now by what I have al∣readie answered to this Principle in these three particulars, let the indifferent Reader and your owne consciences be judge, whether you or the Reformed Churches practise most safely, and doe that which most Churches acknowledge warrantable, and who is most guilty of making additaments, when as you and all of your way allow that which they practise in the seven particulars instanced in, but you practise many things which all Churches condemne, ex∣cepting the Churches of the Independent way; and if one thing be considered to what I have said that you put the weight and stampe of divine Institution, and of necessitie upon your addita∣ments, making them parts of worship and essentiall, as upon pro∣phecying, as upon the office of teachers distinct from Pastours, &c. but the Reformed Churches in what you call their additaments, even in some of them instanced in by you, put not so great an au∣thoritie, but only an allowance and lawfulnesse of set-formes of prayer prescribed, not a necessity, but a lawfulnesse of mixtures in Congregations, so as not to leave the Church for that; and in other practises, you count additaments in matters circumstantiall of time, place, manner and way of doing things, which upon good reasons may be changed, so that here is a wide difference be∣tween that which you call their additaments, and yours truly so called, and let me adde this that the great pinch of a conscience and the poyson in Ecclesiasticall matters concerning outward Go∣vernment and order (wherein the Scripture hath not laid downe a particular rule for) lyes in the stampe of putting a necessitie and a divine Institution upon them, and unto such and of such is that Scripture spoken so frequently in the mouthes of men of your way. In vaine doe you worship me, teaching for doctrine the commande∣ments of men.

For instance: whereas one great controversie of these times is*Page  94about the qualification of the Members of Churches, and the promiscuous receiving and mixture of good and bad; therein we chose the better part, and to be sure, received in none but such as all the Churches in the world would by the ballance of the San∣ctuarie acknowledge faithfull. And yet in this we are able to make this true and just profession also, that the rules which we gave up our judgements unto, to judge those we received in a∣mongst us by, were of that latitude as would take in any member of Christ, the meanest, in whom there may be supposed to be the least of Christ, and indeed such and no other at all the godly in this kingdome carry in their bosomes to judge others by. We tooke measure of no mans holinesse by his opinion, whether con∣curring with us, or adverse unto us; And Churches made up of such, we were sure no Protestant could but approve of, (as touching the members of it) to be a true Church, with which com∣munion might be held.

And having answered generally, I come now to the particulars brought to make this third principle good, and shall shew how little there is in them to make good that they are brought for.

To your first instance of chusing the better part, and to be sure receiving in none for members of Churches, but such as all Chur∣ches in the world would by the ballance of the Sanctuarie acknow∣ledge faithfull.

1. To speake nothing now of that, how in Churches there may be a receiving to some of the ordinances (and so to be under the care of the Ministers) a receiving of others, that is, there may be members to a part, and there are members as to all the ordi∣nances, and so according to the first there may be a promis∣cuous receiving and mixture, for which I can give good reasons and instances as in children, catechumenists, but must not handle at large every point now which your Narration hints a•….

2. In your admission of members you chose not the better part, nor the safer: To goe on the hand of charitie and love is the bet∣ter part, and safer hand, which charitie if you looke into the 1 Cor. 13. hopes the best, thinkes no evill, &c. And a man had better receive some of whom there may be some doubt and feare, then discourage and refuse any of Christ little ones, which both Page  95 your principle and practise hath done abundantly in New-Eng∣land and in England: But here in your Narration you deale falla∣ciously in stating the question. For the question is not about recei∣ving in none, but such as all Churches in the world would ac∣knowledge faithfull, but about receiving in all and refusing none whom the Churches had no reason, but to acknowledge faithfull; For according to your words laid downe, and as you would carry it to deceive the Reader with, of receiving none, but such as all Churches would acknowledge faithfull, you might receive in, but a few of high forme Christians, whom also all the Churches in the world would not (as some hold the ballance) acknow∣ledge to be faithfull; and so you might receive in, but a very few: And it is evident by your practise that many whom all the Refor∣med Churches hold fit to be received, having a competent know∣ledge of God, Christ and themselves, and live free from all scan∣dalous and grosse sins, and outwardly practise duties both to God and man, even multitudes of these you will not admit, nor doe not into your Churches. And as to that just and true profession you are able to make, That the rules you gave up your judge∣ments unto, to judge those you received in amongst you by, were of that latitude to take in any member of Christ, &c. I must tell you this is like some of your just and true professions before, name∣ly, unjust and untrue & this is neither the first nor the last unjust and untrue profession in your Narration, and I shall make it good both by your practises, & by some rules laid down by some of your selves. Mr Goodwins letter in answer to Mr Iohn Goodwin grants, they require of men to admission into their Churches, that they know what belongs to Church-fellowship, and doe acknowledge the same, and approve thereof, with other things of that nature: now whether this be a rule of that latitude, that will take in any mem∣ber of Christ, the meanest, in whom there may be supposed to be the least of Christ, and indeed such and no other, as all the godly in this kingdome carry in their bosomes to judge others by: I appeale to your owne consciences. That holy Martyr Bradford with many more, not only the least, but great starres in the fir∣mament of the Church, never knew nor dreamt of what belong'd to your Church-fellowship, and I am confident that M. Goodwin,Page  96 M. Bridge, my selfe, with many others, many yeares after wee were members of Christ, and conversed together in Cambridge as Saints, yet understood not what belonged to this Church-cove∣nant and Church-fellowship: and this is such a rule that multi∣tudes of the godly in this kingdome, carry not in their bosomes to judge others by, nor would not themselves be judged by, nor ne∣ver heard of such things till your times: And if your rules were of such a latitude as would take in any members of Christ the mea∣nest, whence came it to passe that in New-England so many men (in whom the godly have presumed to be something of Christ) and who are you to judge the contrarie, have not yet been admit∣ted, and amongst many other instances that might be given in your owne Churches, I will name one: Mistris Symonds, a mo∣dest, humble woman, many years well reputed of in England, of godly Parents, wife to a godly Minister, who though her hus∣band was received a member of M. Sympsons Church, and then chosen the Pastour, yet his wife could not be received into the Church along time, and whether yet she be I know not: I have been told also from one who lived in those parts, that after M. Sympson upon rending from M. Bridge had set up a new Church, one who was upon his tryall for admission into M. Sympsons Church, was openly asked by a prime man (who had a hand in that rent) what his judgement was of the Brethrens libertie to prophecie; and if the man had not been right in that point, it might have hazarded his Membership. And that the Reader may not be abused nor amused with such kind of passages, but that it may appeare what ever here you say you have other rules, and re∣quire other things of men to communion with you, pray satisfie us: What was the reason, and what is the matter that when M. Iohn Goodwin fell to your principles and way, so many godly persons of his owne Parish could not be received in by him as Church-members, nor accounted so, without yeelding to some rules and conditions, which they being members of Christ (and some of them n•…ne of the meanest) could not condescend unto. As to that you say, You tooke measure of no mans holinesse by his opinion, whether concurring with you or adverse unto you. I appeale to your consciences, if my selfe or some others whom you Page  97 have accounted godly should have declared their opinions adverse to your Church-covenant, and other of your Church principles, and yet being in Holland should have desired for the time to have been a•…itted to fellowship with you in the Lords Supper, whe∣ther would you have admitted us? Now to that passage of yours in the close of this first instance: and Churches made up of such we were sure no Protestant could but approve of, &c. This goes upon the mistake observed by me before, That the question in con∣troversie about Church-members is not, nor cannot be meant, Whether Churches made up of such members, as all account faith∣full, be by all Protestants approved of to be true Churches, with whom communion may be held: But whether communion may not be held with such Churches, and such received into communi∣on and fellowship of Churches, whom many Churches (especi∣ally yours and those of the Church-way) doe not upon your prin∣ciples acknowledge true and fit matter. And in this I am sure all Protestants of note are against you, and for us, accounting such visible Churches (as you here instance in) an Utopia, holding it Donatisme, and Anabaptisme, and when the Papists doe in their writings father upon them such a visible Church as you dreame of, and such principles as you hold, they disclaime it (as learned Whitakers) it being the constant opinion of all the great Protestant Divines, Calvin, Luther, Zanchius, Iunius, &c. * That the visible Church of Christ consists of good and bad, resem∣bled therefore to a field, net, floore, where chasse as well as good graine, &c.

Againe, concerning the great ordinance of publike Prayer, and the Liturgie of the Church, whereas there is this great con∣troversie*upon it about the lawfulnesse of set-formes prescribed; we practised (without condemning others) what all sides doe al∣low and themselves doe practise also, that the publicke prayers in our Assemblies should be framed by the meditations and studie of our owne Ministers, out of their owne gifts (the fruits of Christs Ascension) as well as their Sermons use to be. This we were sure all allowed of, though they super-added the other.

To this 2d Instance concerning the great ordinance of publicke prayer, and the Liturgie of the Church, I shall give you one An∣swer Page  98 after another, following you according to your expressions upon it, wherein I finde you like your selves in the other prece∣dent parts, in generals and in the darke, so as few Readers can tell by your Narration here what you hold and practise about publike prayer.

1. Wheras you say, There is this great controversie upon it about the lawfulnesse of set-formes prescribed. I must tell you this great controversie upon it is raised onely by your selves and the Brow∣nists, there being no Divines, nor no Reformed Churches that I know of, but doe allow the lawfull use of set-formes of prayer, composed and framed by others (as by Synods and Assemblies) and doe make use of such sometimes, as the Churches of France and Holland in the administration of Sacraments usually doe, and those who practise them not so much, yet at least hold them law∣full. And I challenge you in all your reading to name one Divine of note and Orthodox that ever held set-formes of prayer prescri∣bed unlawfull, excepting only Independents.

2. What understand you by set-formes prescribed, whether prayers onely made and framed by others: As suppose by an As∣sembly or Synod, but yet not imposed, or whether prayers com∣posed by others, and then prescribed and required by authoritie to be used: Now if you say you understand it in the second sence, that you question the lawfulnesse of that, but not in the first: I aske you whether you will practise, and doe hold it lawfull to use in your Assemblies, Prayers made and framed by others? As sup∣pose a directory for worship, which I the rather aske you, because your words afterwards hinted as the ground for your owne pra∣ctise, and against the practises of the Reformed Churches, speake against all set-formes of prayer composed by others (That the publike prayers in our Assemblies should be framed by the medita∣tions and studie of our owne Ministers out of their owne gifts) which reacheth to all prayers framed by other men, though they be left at libertie to use or not use them: And further this argu∣ment of yours speakes only against formes of prayer, as in the first sence, but speaks not at all to it, as imposed and enjoyned; but let your expressions of set-formes of prayer prescribed be ta∣ken in the second sence, yet I am readie to maintaine against you Page  99 that set-formes of Prayer, lawfull for their materials, and estab∣lisht by a lawfull power to be used in the publick Assemblies, may lawfully be practised by Ministers, and the people safely joyne in them.

3. As I askt of you in what sence you tooke set-formes pre∣scribed, so I desire to know whether in the questioning of the law∣fulnesse of set-formes of prayer, you understand onely formes of prayer framed by men and Ministers in the Church, or whether not also prayers recorded in the Scriptures (as for instance the Lords prayer) whether ever you practise the use of that in your Assemblies (which question I make, because I never heard that a∣ny of you five ever used the Lords prayer, either in your owne As∣semblies, or in ours, nor indeed that any of your way did, it be∣ing now made by many a note of a Formalist) Now if you ac∣count the use of it lawfull, considering the great offence, the to∣tall disuse of it gives to many, and how it hinders the word to ma∣ny, considering that Scripture with other like, 1 Cor. 10. 32. I wonder how you dare neglect it (and by the way let me tell you that 1 Cor. 10. 32. is stronger to command you the use of the Lords prayer, then for what it is alleadged by you in the 17. page, namely, for your principle of submission of Churches, &c. And I propound to you further, whether if some other prayers word for word recorded in the Scriptures should be put into a directorie, you would use them? As also, whether you would practise the reading of set Psalmes and Chapters appointed out for you?

4. As for the practising your owne prayers without condemning others. I answer, that is not so, 1. Because you bring many ar∣guments against set-formes of prayer, framed by others and pre∣scribed that amount to a condemnation in a high nature, terming such prayers will-worship, inventions of men, as is evident both by Manuscripts and by printed Discourses of Mr Davenports, M. Cottons,* M. Nyes. 2. You with-drew from our Sacraments and publicke Assemblies upon this ground and have drawne many away with you, and have set up new Churches.

But it may be you will in this Narration have this evasion, that though you condemne the practise, yet not all the persons that use them, you doe not condemne them as ungodly. I answer, no Page  100 more doe the rigid a Brownists nor Anabaptists, who yet con∣demne sufficiently our Churches and our prayers, and yours too, for they acknowledge both you and us to have eminent personall graces.

5. As to that Argument brought by you for conceived prayers, but against set-formes made by other men, I briefly suggest these following things to you and the Reader. 1. That by your owne concession set formes of prayer are not unlawfull, because they be set and framed before hand, and not conceived suddenly, where∣in you grant, that the publicke prayers in the Assemblies may be premeditated, framed and studied before hand, as well as Ser∣mons, which concession takes off one of the strongest Arguments used against set-formes of prayer. 2. I answer, it is not a∣gainst the fruites of Christs ascension into Heaven, and of giving gifts unto men for the Ministery, that they doe not alwayes in all their prayers exercise their own gifts of invention and composall of prayer, for so the using of the Lords prayer should be unlaw∣full at any time for the Ministers (which is no prayer framed out of their owne meditations and studie, and their owne gifts.) 3. I answer, there is a great dissimilitude in many respects, betweene Sermons and prayers, so that it will not hold, though Sermons ought to be framed alwaies out of our owne gifts, that therefore prayers alwayes should be. And this I will demonstrate in a Dis∣course of the lawfulnesse of using set-formes of prayer composed by others. 4. It is not against the fruit of Christs ascension, nor the gifts given then for Ministers, in some instructions and tea∣chings of the people to make use of some thing sometimes in pub∣like, either doctrinall or practicall, not framed out of their owne gifts, but by others. As suppose the reading in the Congregation to the people often some confession of faith, or some exhortation about maine things of use to them, having still the free use of their giftsto preach besides. 5. Suppose you five should joyne toge∣ther out of your owne meditations and studies, exercising your owne gifts to frame publicke prayers of maine petitions needfull for the state of all your Churches, whether might they be used by you in your publick Assemblies. 6. Whether each of you by your selves framing upon meditation and studie a set-forme of Page  101 prayer, may not use that often in your Assemblies without sinne, having also your liberty to adde conceived prayers at the same time.

But to put all out of question about the second instance, I judge that set formes of prayer prescribed taken in both senses, that is neither made nor framed out of the gifts of the persons who use them, nor left at liberty, but by publike consent agreed upon to be used, are not unlawfull to be practised: but the Scriptures give us examples for such prayers, as in 2 Chron. 29. 30. Moreover He∣zekiah the King, and the Princes commanded the Levites to sing praise unto the Lord, with the words of David, and of Asaph the Seer: and they sang praises with gladnesse, and they bowed their heads and worshipped. And therefore the use of set formes of prayer, framed and composed by others and prescribed, having ex∣ample in Scripture (as well as conceived) are no additament nor superaddition; but the reformed Churches in practising both, pra∣ctise most safely, according to Scripture patternes, and your Chur∣ches using only one sort and not the other, leave to follow exam∣ples recorded in Scripture; and we may more justly cast upon you the taking away from Scripture (taking away being a like bran∣ded by Scripture as adding;) But you doe unjustly cast upon the reformed Churches adding to the word, the Scriptures holding out examples for both: And for the further clearing your mi∣stakes in this great ordinance of publike prayer, I shall only adde this, all that God hath commanded either in the old Te∣stament or new about publike prayer, is, that prayers be made in the publike Assemblies, and that those prayers be of peti∣tions for their matter and kind lawfull, according unto the will of God, directed unto God alone in the Name of Christ, with humi∣lity, fervency, faith and such like; but that God hath required, that as oft as Ministers pray, they must put up prayers framed by their own meditations and studies out of their own gifts, and that the words and phrases must be various and diversified or else their prayers are not lawfull, there is never such a sillable to proove it in the Scripture; But we have examples of both, namely set and conceived, and Gods servants used both indifferently, and we may use both according as we see occasion, and as we find may make Page  102 most for edification and Gods glory. And I desire you in your Re∣ply to this Answer to give any instance to the contrary and I shall thanke you, for I seek truth and peace, and not victory nor conten∣tion; And let me mind you whilst you goe about in this instance to cleare your selves of additaments; you are in this and other in∣stances guilty of taking away from the Word, falling short, as in other things, practising above what is written, besides your diffe∣rent way of practising in some things.

So likewise for the government and discipline in the Churches, however the practise of the reformed Churches is in greater mat∣ters*to governe each particular Congregation by a combined Presbytery of the Elders of severall Congregations united in one for government; yet so, as in their judgments they allow, especially in some cases, a particular Congregation, an entire and compleate power of jurisdiction to be exercised by the Elders thereof within it selfe; Yea and our owne Mr Cartwright, holy Baynes, and other old Non-conformists, place the power of excommunication in the Eldership of each particular Church with the consent of the Church, untill they doe miscarry, and then indeed they doe subject them to such Presbyteriall and Provinciall Assemblies as the proper refuge for appeales and for compounding of differences amongst Churches, which combination of Churches others of them therefore call Ecclesiae ortae, but particular Congregations Eccle∣siae primae, as wherein firstly the power and priviledge of a Church is to be exercised. And withall we could not but imagine, that the first Churches planted by the Apostles, were ordinarily of no more in one City at first then might make up one entire Congregation, ruled by their own Elders, that also preached to them; for that in every City where they came, the number of converts did or should arise to such a multitude as to make severall and sundry Con∣gregations, or that the Apostles should stay the setting up of any Churches at all, untill they rose to such a numerous multiplica∣tion as might make such a Presbyteriall combination, we did not imagine. We found also those non-conformists (that wrote against the Episcopall government) in their answer to the arguments used for Episcopall government over many Churches, brought from the instances of the multitude of believers at Ierusalem, Page  103 and other places and Cities mentioned in the new Testament, to assert that it would not be infallibly proved that any of those we read of in the Acts and elsewhere; were yet so numerous, as ne∣cessarily to exceed the limits of one particular Congregation in those first times. We found it also granted by them all, that there should be severall Elders in every Congregation, who had power over them in the Lord; and we judged that all those precepts, obey your Elders, and them that are over you, were (to be sure, and all grant it) meant of the Pastors and Teachers, and other Elders that were set over them in each particular Congregation respe∣ctively, and to be as certainely the intendment of the holy Ghost, as in those like commands, Wives obey your own husbands, Ser∣vants your own Governours, to be meant of their severall families respectively. We could not therefore but judge it a safe and an allowed way to retaine the government of our severall Congre∣gations for matters of discipline within themselves, to be exer∣cised by their own Elders, whereof we had (for the most part of the time we were abroad) three at least in each Congregation, whom we were subject to: yet not claiming to our selves an in∣dependent power in every Congregation, to give account or be subject to none others; but only a full and entire power compleate within our selves, untill we should be challenged to erre grossely; such as Corporations enjoy, who have the power and priviledge to passe sentence for life and death within themselves, and yet are accountable to the State they live in. But that it should be the institution of Christ or his Apostles, that the combination of the Elders of many Churches should be the first compleate and entire seate of Church power over each Congregation so combined; or that they could challenge and assume that authority over those Churches they feed and teach not ordinarily by vertue of those fore-mentioned Apostolicall precepts, was to us a question, and judged to be an additament unto the other, which therefore rested on those that allowed us what we practised over and above, to make evident and demonstrate: (and certainely of all other the challenge of all spirituall power from Christ had need have a cleare pattent to shew for it:) Yea we appeale further unto them that have read books, whether untill those later writings of the Page  104 two Reverend and Learned Divines of Scotland, set forth after our returne, nor much more then two yeares since, and others of no elder date from Holland, and one of our own Divines more late∣ly Written with much learning and ingenuity; there hath been much settly and directly, or with strength insisted on to prove that government, and although assert and inculcate it they doe as their opinions, yet the full strength and streame of our non-confor∣mists Writings and others, are spent rather in arguments against, and for the overthrowing the Episcopall government, and the cor∣ruptions that cleave to our Worship, and in maintaining those se∣verall Officers in Churches Which Christ hath instituted in stead thereof (in which we fully agree with them) then in the proofe of a combined classicall Presbyteriall government as it is authori∣tatively practised in the most reformed Churches.

Before I give a full answer to your third and last instance of the government and discipline in the Churches. I premise this; that in all the differences between you and us in the principles and pra∣ctises of the visible Church and government of it, you give but three instances only, wherein you practise more safely then the re∣formed Churches (although you make such a great principle and matter of it in the eleventh page,) yet there are many things be∣sides these three, wherein you practise differently from all refor∣med Churches; as in the way of gathering and constituting Chur∣ches, in the way of making Ministers, in the power you give the people in Church government, cum multis alijs: why did you in this Narration passe by these? Is it not either because you were not willing to tell all you hold and practise, (the time being not yet come to open all your way and principles, which is one of the things I blame you for, your reservednesse in keeping back so great a part, shewing us only the fairest side of that wherein you differ,) or else if you had thought fit to have related them; you in your own wisedomes questioned, whether those other particulars where∣in you differ would bare so faire a glosse as of practising most safely, and of fastning the odium of additaments so well upon the reformed Churches, as these three instances you give; And I might here take an occasion to shew further how the reformed Churches practised more safely on both hands then you, neither Page  105 adding not taking away, and so I might strongly retort this whole third principle of yours back upon you, but that may suffice I have already hinted of it.

Now for this third and last instance of your walking safely, but fastning additaments in government and discipline on the refor∣med Churches, this being laid downe so largely as that it is a third part of your book within a very little, beginning in the twelfth page, and continuing to the end of the one and twentieth page, con∣taining in it many various things: I must therefore because of the intermixture of persons and things in this part of your Narration more then in any other, going forward and backward, up and downe, that I may let nothing escape of moment, I shall endea∣vour to draw out the severall ends of these twined threds and en∣tangled discourse, and to wind them up upon their severall bot∣tomes, by reducing this part of your Narrative to these following heads; whereon I may more distinctly fasten my answers, both for yours and the Readers better satisfaction.

1. You relate what the reformed Churches doe practise and al∣low, as also what our old non-conformists granted, and what your selves allow and grant about a Church and the government of it.

2. You relate what you disallow and are not satisfied in.

3. You couch some arguments and reasons for your own way and practise, and against the practise of the reformed Churches.

4. You answer a common objection brought against your way, by laying down the principles that you hold in such a case, as also by relating your practise occasioned upon an offence committed in one of your Churches.

5. Upon this answer you make a comparison between the ef∣fectualnesse of your way in what you hold and practise, and what the Presbyterians hold, to reduce Churches and to compose diffe∣rences: in which comparison you make the scales to fall on your side rather.

Now the Reader must expect here as in other passages of this Narration, generall, doubtfull, darke, partiall and reserved relations with mistating the questions which, in my answers I shall observe and point at all along.

To the first of these five heads, (wherein also are three parti∣culars;) Page  106 To the first of these concerning the reformed Churches, namely what they practise and allow: I answer, you should have done well to have instanced their practises, what were the greater matters governed in common by the Presbyterie of severall Con∣gregations, and what were the lesser matters wherein each parti∣cular Congregation was governed by their particular Elders; As also what were those cases wherein the reformed Churches allow particular Congregations such an entire and compleate power to be exercised by the Elders within themselves, and wherein not; such a particular Narration would have carried in the face of it some ground for the defference of their practise and allowance, & might have served to have pointed out the differences between your way and theirs. But secondly, As you relate the way and discipline of the reformed Churches, it sounds somewhat harsh and strange that their practise should be one way and their judgements another, their practise to governe each particular Congregation by a com∣bined Presbyterie of the Elders of severall Congregations united in one for government, and yet in their judgements to allow, es∣pecially in some cases a particular Congregation and entire and compleate power of jurisdiction within it selfe: Doe they practise one way and allow another way, or doe they hold both wayes the wayes of God, or what is it you meane in this Narration of those Churches, or can it be meant in the same sense and acception to practise one thing and yet allow another, or will you make the lesser matters practised in their particular Churches by their own Elders to be the same with some cases, wherein they allow parti∣cular Congregations an entire and compleate power of jurisdi∣ction within themselves: Now the latter, namely in some cases, cannot be meant, for then this last part is no more then the first, neither can your words of an entire compleate power of juris∣diction in the particular Congregations be meant of smaller mat∣ters, but of the greatest matters in some cases: You shall doe well in your reply, to english these lines about the difference of the re∣formed Churches practises in greater matters, and their different judgements in some cases, and shew us in what sense they meane it, and whether it can be properly and truly alledged for your case of entire and compleate power in your Congregations. Thirdly, Page  107 This which you here relate of the reformed Churches practise and allowance is fallaciously set downe and for your own advantage, meerely to make out this third principle, that you still chose to practise safely, namely, what the reformed Churches allowed and acknowledged warrantable, onely they superadded Presbyteriall combinations, whereas the reformed Churches doe not, as you well know in the case and question controverted between them and you allow particular Congregations in a Kingdome and na∣tion, conceiving the reformed Religion to have an entire and com∣pleate power of jurisdiction within themselves, what may be in some of their books in extraordinary or speciall cases, where there is but one particular Congregation in a Countrey or the like, that is nothing to the point in hand, it being laid for a common ground by them all, that every particular Church in a Nation or Kingdom is not to be left to it selfe, but that there is a necessity of a common nationall government to preserve all the Churches in unity and peace; And to cleare the reformed Churches of France, Holland,*Scotland from what you say they allow, I doe not find in their books of discipline and platformes of Church government (by which we must judge of their judgements) nor in their practises, that they doe allow an entire and compleate power to be exercised by the Elders of every Congregation alone, either in the making or ordaining of Ministers, or in deposing their Ministers, or in drawing up a forme of doctrine, worship and discipline for them∣selves, they allow power of admonition, suspension from the Lords Supper, and of taking up lesser differences by the particular El∣dership; and if I forget not, the Churches of France only, practise excommunication by the Elders in particular Congregations, without carrying it at first higher; but then if we consider that in those Churches of France their Elderships goe upon certaine fixed rules in there excommunications laid down in their books of dis∣cipline (who if they proceed otherwise are liable to censure them∣selves) and their being appeales to Synods and Assemblies, and all being carried in reference and dependance to Assemblies, the case is very different: now if the Churches of your way and commu∣nion in old England and in New, would yeeld to have a govern∣ment fixt and setled by Synods and Assemblies; establisht also by Page  108 the Magistrates, upon which Rules and Orders they should proceed in the way of making Ministers, and that such errors in doctrine and such evill manners, ought to be the subject of excommunica∣tion, and then agree upon appeales to Synods and Assemblies, then there would be lesse dang•…r in such an entire and compleate power in particular Congregations.

To the second particular under this first head, namely what some of the old non-conformists grant, placing the power of excommu∣nication in the Eldership of each particular Church untill they doe miscarry, and then indeed subj•…cting them to Presbyt•…riall and Provinciall Assemblies, and that it could not be infallibly prooved that any of the Churches recorded in the new Testament, were so numerous as necessarily to exceed the limits of one particular Congregatïon: And that both the Ministers of the reformed Churches and our non-conformists, all granted that there should be severall Elders in every Congregation, who had power over them in the Lord: I answer as followes; For Mr Cartwright, you not quoting which of his books you have reference to, and so not knowing which to turne to, to find out what you assert of him, I shall not deny it; but as for Mr Baynes Diocesans Tryall, (which is the only booke I ever heard of, wherein he handles these points) he doth in the third question give the Ecclesiasticall pow∣er and the exercise of it to a united multitude of Presbyters, in which booke, howsoever as intending his booke against Diocesan Bishops and Diocesan Churches, to whom all Presbyters and Churches stand in subjection and subordination, he pleads against them for the power of the particular Elders in the severall Con∣gregations, yet as against the reformed Churches practise, namely of a Presbyteriall Church consisting of many particular Congre∣gations and ruled by the Elders of severall Congregations combi∣ned, he pleadeth not, but expressely in answer made to those two objections from the Churches and Elders where there is a co-ordi∣nation and a communi•…y in government, as in the Low Countries and at Géneva, he grants the thing contended for against your Congregationall way (even before miscarrying,) and shewes th•… great difference between the Diocesan government and the Pres∣byteriall in severall particulars, and answers your objections which Page  109 you commonly make of a forraigne extrinsicall power: And for your better satisfaction, reade and compare together the passages in these pages of Mr Baynes Diocesans Tryall, page 21, page 11. What is meant by a Diocesan Church, and in the 12th page, two first conclusions agreed in, and in the 16th page: And for the non-con∣formists in their writings against the Episcopall government and Diocesan Churches, though they put the Bishops their adversaries all they could to it, to make them proove infallibly and necessarily a particular Church to exceed the limits of one particular Congre∣gation, yet they never intended it as against the reformed Chur∣ches: Now you know the saying, Authoris aliud agentis parva est auth•…ritas: But shew us where ever the old non-conformists as against the reformed Churches held so: It will appeare by Ger∣son Bucerus▪ and by the practise of the reformed Churches in Ge∣neva* and Holland, (for which Mr Robinson so objects against them in his Apologie) that though they were against the govern∣ment of Bishops and Diocesan Churches (that is of a head Church over many Congregations united to it) yet not of a particular Church of such a City, consisting of many particular Congrega∣tions: And as for that you take for granted by all, that there should be severall Elders in every Congregation, it is denied you: For some Divines, as Danaeus and Cartwright (as I remember) hold it not necessary for every small Congregation in villages, but for Cities and more populous places to which the lesser villages being conjoyned, have the benefit and support of all the Elders and Ministers in the exercising of government. As for that you say, Others of them calling the combination of Churches Ecclesiae ortae, but particular Congregations Ecclesiae primae, as wherein firstly the power and priviledge of a Church is to be exercised (that others was a Mr Parker, who in his Politia Ecclesiastica, gives us this distinction)▪ and was the first who brought it up (as ever I read of) who differing from Mr Baynes and other non-con∣formists, and most Divines of the reformed Churches in the sub∣ject of the power of the keyes, giving it to the b body of the Church, agreeing therein too much with you, no wonder he called particular Congregations Ecclesiae primae: But as he was mi∣staken in the first receptacle and subject of the power of the Page  110 keyes, so he might be in his distinction of Ecclesiae primae and ortae. For the first Churches, namely that of Ierusalem, Rome, Ephe∣sus, with others were not particular Congregations, but Chur∣ches consisting of many Congregations, severall meeting places, some preaching in one place, and others in other places, but go∣verned by the Elders in common, which City Churches were the first Churches still first planted by the Apostles, and particular Con∣gregations in villages were Ecclesiae ortae (the City Churches in this sence being the mothers, and the particular Congregations rather the daughters) the full proofe and demonstration whereof I referre to a tractate I intend about the nature of the visible Church. But by what I have answered upon this head the Rea∣der * may observe there is not all granted, which you tooke for granted from the Reformed Churches, and the Non-conformists, and what is yeelded slowes from another spring, and is upon ano∣ther ground writing against Diocesan Bishops (quite another con∣troversie) but otherwise even when Non-conformists have come to write against the separation, and upon the nature of a visible Church (as Mr Balla) they hold the contrary: And for learned men of other Churches (even when they writ against Episcopa∣cie) yet they were farre from holding that a particular visible Church was only a particular Congregation * (as Gersom Buce∣rus in his answer to D Downham) A particular Church is any companie of beleevers conjoyned in the observation of holy ordi∣nances and united to one Presbyterie, keeping their meetings in one or more places: For the number of Parishes in which they meet is a thing accidentall being nothing at all to the essence of a particular Church. And even the Non-conformists you speake of, as it appeares by the wary expressions your selves use of them, namely infallibly and necessarily doe even give the cause: For that is (as you imply) the Non-conformists in their answers could not denie but probably the number of beleevers were so nu∣merous as to exceed the limits of one particular Congregation in those first tim•…s, though not infallibly and rationally, though not necessarily: Now in points of externall order and government which depend upon the story; and circumstances of time and place, how many things are there practised, but of presumption▪ Page  111 though not of certainty, and though they cannot be infallibly and necessarily proved, so as to stop all mouthes, and all that the wit of man can possibly finde out, yet if the things asserted can be but probably proved upon better reasons then the contrary, we may encline to that as to the safer part: How many practises and tenents have you in your Church-way that cannot be infallibly and necessarily proved, but stronger answers may be and are given to the reasons you bring for them, then any the Non-conformists could give to that instance of the Church of Ierusalem, and yet you hold to your principles for all that; and it is a rule hath been pleaded by some of you, that in things of that nature where the Scripture is not expresse, but holds them out most probably though not infallibly and necessarily, yet we ought to encline to that: As for Mr Baynes answer (though directed against Diocesan Bishops and Diocesan Churches) to that instance of the Church of Ierusalem, it is no whit satisfactorie nor concluding to any man, who is of another judgement, as the Reader may reade in the 15. and 16. page of the Dioces. Tryall.

To the 3d particular under the first head, namely what you al∣low and grant about a Church and the Government, that you could not but imagine that the first Churches planted by the A∣postles, were ordinarily of no more in one Citie at the first then might make up one entire Congregation, ruled by their owne El∣ders that also preached to them, and that you could not but judge it a safe and an allowed way to retaine the government of your severall Congregations for matter of discipline within themselves to be exercised by their owne Elders, &c. In way of answer I must first complaine of your old fault, the slippery and uncertaine expressions used in the relation of what you owne and allow about a Church in those phrases, the first Churches ordinarily and at first. I demand the reason of you, why you put in ordinarily and at first, was it not because you fore-saw the Church of Ieru∣salem and some few others recorded in the New Testament, though not in the first Chapter of the Acts, and at the beginning yet would at last by the 8. of the Acts and Acts 21. amount to more then could meet in one Congregation, and therefore you exprest it so. Is this faire dealing, or what other reason can you Page  112 give for using such doubtfull expressions: the question is not be∣tweene you and us, whether all the Churches and most of the Churches, or whether at first, and in the beginning of them they consisted of no more in one City, then to make up one Congre∣gation, but whether the Scriptures in the Acts of the Apostles and Epistles, be it first or last, sooner or later gives any patterne or example of a particular Church, exceeding the number of them, who may ordinarily meet together in one place for the worship∣ping of God, and the sanctification of the Lords-day, which if it can be proved, overthrowes M. Robinsons, M. Cottons defini∣tions of Churche•… and your principles, who all keepe to this as to a foundation upon which is built many of your other practises: For we know at first the Church of Ierusalem, and other Chur∣ches were not more numerous then to exceed the limits of one par∣ticular Congregation, neither could it be expected that all should come in at first, and we know for many other Churches the Scrip∣tures doe not so particularly relate the growth and accessions of them: But if any one instance can be given, it is not materiall whether first or last, sooner or later, whether in the beginning, middle, or end of the story, for then your Positions and asserti∣ons of a particular visible Church are overthrowne, for one affir∣mative overthrowes a universall negative. And I aske of you whether you take ordinarily here as opposed to extraordinary, or take ordinarily, for commonly as opposed to rarely and seldome; now if you meane it in the first sence, that the Church of Ierusa∣lem and other Churches that may be instanced in, their case was ex∣traordinary, and though the Apostles suffered them to grow so ranke and numerous, yet we may not doe so now: I desire to know of you then, what is become of your first generall rule the Primitive patternes of Churches erected by the Apostles, and I desire to know what r•…le you walke by, and whether the first constituted Church of all were not likely to be the patterne for constituted Churches, seeing Primum in unoquo{que} genere est regu∣la & mensura reliquorum. But if you meane ordinarily in the second sence, as that there is but one only instance, the most if not all other Churches were otherwise; that you see will not by what I have above written helpe you, besides what ever you can pro∣bably Page  113 alleadge that the Churches of these times should be confor∣med to such Churches, which consisted of no greater number then to make one particular Congregation, I will give more and bet∣ter why the Churches of a Nation and kingdome should be con∣formed to that of Hierusalem; As for those phrases of yours, which you bring in by way of caution and clearing the way of your government within your selves, that you claime not an In∣dependent power to give no account or be subject to none others, but onely a full and entire power compleate within your selves, untill you shall be challenged to erre grossely. Whilest in these first lines you denie Independent power in words, yet in your latter words you grant it, claiming a full and entire power compleate within your selves, which is Independent power, and is the full sence of that which hath been fasten'd on you by us; and I will shew it more fully in the proper place; when I come to the 23. page (especially if you take upon you to enjoy it so long, untill you shall be challenged to erre grossely) I had thought it had been enough upon your being challenged to erre to have given an ac∣count, but belike it must be erring grossely (I suspect something lyes under this, as under many other of your phrases, whereby you evade and hide your selves, stating points wrongfully) Pray what doe you account erring grossely, and whether doe you judge any thing erring grosly in your particular Churches, but such kinds of sins in manners, and such kind of opinions as are against the Chur∣ches knowne light, and the common received practises and prin∣ciples of Christianitie professed by the Churches themselves and universally acknowledged in all the rest of the Churches, and no o∣ther sinnes to be the ground of giving an account (as they are not of Excommunication with you, page 9.) (both being of equall latitude, sins of particular persons to a Church, and the sins of a particular Church to a Communitie of Churches) and if that be your meaning you shall be Independent enough. And then further I demand of you, how you can use those phrases of not claiming a power to be subject to none others: I confesse you may better use those words of giving account, holding, counselling and ad∣vising by sister-Churches, but as for that phrase of subjecting to none others; I understand it not, what censure will your Chur∣ches Page  114 subject unto from other Churches, will they yeeld to the de∣position of their Ministers, Excommunication of their mem∣bers, &c. or how can there be any subjection to other Churches in your principles (the phrase being taken properly and usually) when as all along you pleade against authoritative Presbyteriall power, so oft exprest in page 15, 16. and is the great point in controversie in this instance betwixt you and the Presbyterians: How oft doe you denie the subjection of a particular Church to all other Churches, and are against all subjecting to censures, yea to be subjected as to counsell and advices from the other Churches. As to that phrase, your owne Elders, whereof you had three at least in each Congregation whom you were subject to, in which you seeme to hold out the government and power of the Church to lie in the Elders, and not in the body of the Congregation, I desire you to satisfie me in this point, whether all of you hold the power and authoritie to be in the Elders or in the Church, and whether by goe tell the Church is meant, tell the Elders or the bo∣die * of the Congregation, and whether according to the principles of the Church-way in M. Robinsons workes, and the bookes of New-England, and M. Bridges owne letter (unlesse some of you have lately seene another light) you might have truly written three Elders at least in every Congregation to whom the Congre∣gations were subject, or else three Elders who were subject to their owne Congregations: and this shall suffice for answer to the first head of the five concerning the third Instance.

To the second head under this third instance, what you are not satisfied in nor cannot allow. 1. About particular visible Chur∣ches, That you could not imagine in every City where the Apo∣stles came, the number of the converts did or should arise to such a multitude as to make severall and sundry Congregations.

2. About the government of it, that it should be the institution of Christ or his Apostles, that the combination of the Elders of many Churches should be the first compleate and entire seat of Church power over each Congregation so combined, or that they could challenge and assume that authoritie over those Churches they teach not, &c. In both these you deale fallaciously and relate the controversie to your advantage and our disadvantage. For the Page  115 first, whereas had you dealt ingenuously your words should have been these, for that in any Citie, where the Apostles came the number of converts did or should arise to such a multitude as to make severall and sundry Congregations, you put it in every Citie, which we affirme not, nor need not to carry the cause against you, for if we can prove it in some Cities, or in any Cities that the number of Converts did arise to such a multitude, as to make seve∣rall and sundry Congregations, then we prove the Scripture holds out a Presbyteriall Classicall Church, and overthrow your grand principle about a particular Church: And Reader observe the fal∣lacie of these Apologists, how in the manner of their expression, and as they propound it, though the thing may be true, yet they alter quite the state of the Question. For though in every Citie, where the Apostles came, you could not imagine the number of Converts should be so great nor we neither, yet in some Cities you might have well imagined it, as in Ierusalem and Rome. But Brethren, why will you who are Schollers, and without question weighed well all your words and manner of expressions, having so many heads in the framing this Apologie, deale thus with the Reader in a Narration: speake truly, though you did not imagine the number of Converts were so many in every City, yet did not you imagine the number might be so great in some Cities, as in Ierusalem; and if still you will not imagine it, for the helping of your imagination, consider whether you have not more reason (if not infallible and necessary, yet probable and rationall) to ima∣gine the Church of Hi•…rusalem consisting of so many thousands of people, and having so many Ministers to preach unto them, as 12. Apostles besides the seventy Disciples, and they meeting in so many distinct houses, and not having the power and command of any publicke large place or liberty (through those times) to fit it for such multitudes to heare the word, joyne in prayer, and Sacraments, should have severall and sundry Congregations ra∣ther then to imagine all those should make but one standing Con∣gregation to meet in one place and roome.

2. It is stated otherwise, carried higher then need be granted, and that in all your expressions of it, for the Scriptures may hold forth a combination of the Elders of many Churches for govern∣ment Page  116 and yet not be the Institution of Christ or his Apostles: It may be allowed and agreeable to the word, have a jus divinum, permissivum upon generall rules of the word, and according to the rules of the law of nature and of Prudence, yea and may have some examples of it, and yet not amount to a divine Insti∣tution, many who hold the thing will not in those phrases owne it.

2. These Elders of many Congregations may have a power of Government in common over all, and yet not be the first seat of Church-power; for it is not denied but some particular Congre∣gations, having a competent number of Presbyters, both have and may exercise Church-power, before any such combination is, or can be.

3. These Elders combined may have Church-power to rule these Congregations so combined, and yet not have a compleate and entire seat of Church-power, but a power liable to appeales unto Synods and generall Assemblies. The question betweene you and us is whether Classes or Presbyteries have power in Ec∣clesiasticall matters, as Ordination, Excommunication, &c. within the number of Congregations so combined, or may by warrant from the word exercise any power in Church matters, but in their owne particular Congregations; the question is not, whether it be the Institution of Christ or his Apostles that the combination of the Elders of many Churches should be the first compleate and entire seat of Church, power: As you state it, you strangely mistate the question to lay it downe in these words, That the combination of the Elders of many Churches should be the first seat of Church-power over each Congregation so combi∣ned, whereas the opinion of the Reformed Churches is quite con∣trary, not holding Classes and Synods to be the first subject of Church-power, from whence it is consequently derived and con∣ferred upon particular Churches, but that particular congregati∣ons having power in themselves and amongst themselves equall power, doe in Classes and Synods conferre and execute in common their owne power, even as those who are colleagues and equall members of some politicall societie.

4. The power which particular officers, and Presbyters of combi∣ned Page  117 congregations may have over particular members of those Chur∣ches they teach not ordinarily, doth not amount to the challenging and assuming an authority over those Churches they feed and teach not; your expression is a mistake, it is not an assuming a power and authority by some over other Churches, but it is a power of the whole, and of themselvs too, even those particular Churches in their officers over particular members; as in the Parliament no member hath power over another, more then another over him, but the whol hath power over all the particulars; for the clearing of which, the Commissioners of the Church of Scotland speake fully in their Reformation of Church government in Scotland cleared, page 24, 25. And for the close of this second head, wherein you stand upon what you are not satisfied in but disallow, if you would impartially consider that the Scriptures in the Acts of the Apostles and Epistles, doe as well hold out grounds, yea and more indubitable (as I shall make evident in a parti∣cular Tractate of the visible Church) that the first particular Churches planted by the Apostles consisted of more Congrega∣tions, and distinct meeting places, then of one only Congregation, you will acknowledge that where there are many Presbyters to feed and rule, and many more Christians living in a vicinity, then can meet in one place, it is not the most safe and allowed way to re∣taine the government of each Congregation thus within them∣selves, neither that it is an additament in the reformed Churches to practise so, but rather an additament on their part, who living in a City where the number of beleevers are so numerous as to make many meeting places, there to make these places and persons such distinct Churches as to manage all things each one within them∣selves, and not to grow into one for government. And I am so farre versed in these controversies, that I challenge you five to give me an example of any City where it is probable the multitude of be∣leevers were so numerous as to make many meeting places, that ever they were governed and ruled but in common, or ever called Churches but Church, still called the Church of Corinth, and the Church of Ierusalem: I foresee only one instance that can be pro∣bably alledged, that in Rom. 16. 1. of the Church which is at Cen∣chrea, which Cenchrea was a part of Corinth and neare to Corinth,Page  118 yet named a Church as well as the Church of Corinth, but the in∣sufficiencie of that ground I shall at large shew in that Tractate of the visible Church; which Primitive practise hath so farre wrought with some of the reformed Churches, as those of Holland, that in great Cities where the number of their people are so many as they cannot meet in one place, but have more meeting places, yet in imitation of the Scriptures (giving that ground to some who have askt them a reason) they make City Churches but one, and the Ministers are Ministers in common of them all, preaching in their courses in the severall meeting places, and governed in common, and this they doe to keep nearest to Apostolicall practise; whereas now in the Countrey where villages are, and the meetings are scat∣tered, they doe not all preach to all: And to adde this further, to shew your unsafe way of practising in the way of your particular Congregations, over the reformed Churches and our Churches in England, your Congregations (as in London) where the mee∣ting place is, and the Ministers reside, is made up of members, as of some living in London, so of some in Surrey, Middlesex, Hart∣fordsheire, Essex, where they have fixum domicilium being twen∣ty miles asunder, and many members meeting but sometimes in a Moneth, where neither Ministers can oversee them, nor members watch over one another, not knowing what the conversation of each other is (which yet are brought as the maine grounds for your Church-fellowship) which non-residencie of the members from one another, and of the officers from so many of the mem∣bers, whether it overthrow not and be not point blank against ma∣ny of your principles of the Church-way, I leave to your selves to judge? besides that it is without any Primitive patterne and ex∣ample of the Churches erected by the Apostles, the Churches be∣ing still stiled according to the places where they lived and met, as in Rom. 1. 7. To all that be in Rome, beloved of God, called to be Saints: And so in the Epistles to the Corinthians: To the Church of God which is at Corinth. And I desire you to give me any Primitive patterne of any who belonged to the Church of Rome, Corinth, Ierusalem, (that is, were standing members of those Churches) who lived and inhabited ten miles, twenty, five miles, &c. round about those Cities, so that we find here in this Page  119 third instance, namely in the government and discipline of the Churches, as well as in the first instance in the qualification of your members, that the additament is on your sides and not on the refor∣med Churches.

To the third head, namely the reasons couched and hinted for your own practise and against the practise and way of the refor∣med Churches: to the first reason I answer, as the relating of the state of the questions was not proper, so this argument hinted here is not properly expressed, for their might be such a Presbyteriall Church and government as is maintained against you, namely but two or three distinct meeting places, and yet not Churches, rising to such a numerous multiplication, nor Apostles staying to the set∣ting up of Churches untill they rose to such a numerous multipli∣cation: But pray what doe you meane by those expressions? We did not imagine, but might you not? or could you not have ima∣gined it, though you did not nor would not: and what by this, that the Apostles should stay the setting up of any Churches at all, untill they rose to make such a numerous multiplication as might make such a Presbyteriall combination. Doe you carry the words in reference only to that numerous multiplication? or simply and positively, that the Apostles did not stay so long in any City as to set up any Churches at all? Now if you will have your words interpreted in the first sense, then judge how improper the speech and narration of your mind is, for then it should have gone thus, that the Apostles should stay the setting up of so many Chur∣ches untill they rose to such a numerous multiplication, for the de∣nying the setting up of any Churches and at all, agree not with the following words, untill they rose to such a numerous multi∣plication; the former being a diminitive nay a negative, and can∣not agree to such an augmentative as the latter, besides your first words carried in reference to the following, have no strength to proove what you bring them for, namely what you allowed and practised, or what you disallowed; for though the Apostles should not stay so long as the setting up so many Churches as might arise to such a numerous multiplication of severall and sundry Congre∣gations, yet there might be such a Presbyteriall classicall Church, a Church consisting of more then could meet in one place, which is Page  120 the controversie between us: But if you understand your words simply and positively, that the Apostles did not stay the setting up of any Churches at all, I desire you to remember your own prin∣ciples and expressions in many books and discourses of your way, that the Apostles were the founders of the first Churches, as at Corinth, Rome, and for Ierusalem especially, (which is the par∣ticular Church we most stand upon) the Apostles staid long e∣nough there, to set up not onely any Churches at all, but many to make such a Presbyteriall combination as is stood for, as will ap∣peare, both by Acts 8. Acts 15. Acts 21. and it is the judgement of Mr Robinson, that Ierusalem was never without some of the Apostles there (which the two first chapters of the Galathians give a strong ground for,) besides the many Presbyters that belon∣ged thereunto; And so for the Church of Ephesus, Paul stayed at one time in those parts three yeares together, long enough to make so many Churches as might make a Presbyteriall combination: which that of the Acts, chap. 20. vers. 17, 18, 25, 28, 29, 31. doe give hints enough for, if the nature of an answer to a Narration would permit to draw them out at length. To the second rea∣son hinted, that those precepts, Obey your Elders and them that are over you, were to be sure meant of the Pastours and teachers set over them in each particular Congregation respectively, and to be as certainely the intendment of the Holy Ghost, as in those commands, Wives obey your own husbands, &c. I answer, that in Scripture a particular Church consisting of more Congregations then one, and the Ministers and Elders feeding them and governing them in common (as at Ierusalem, and as it is in the Low Coun∣tries, in Cities there, as at Amsterdam, &c.) all the Ministers and Elders are their own Ministers and Elders, as the husbands are the owne of their wives, and those Scriptures are to be understood of all their Pastors and Ministers, and not of some only, or in respect of some, and not of the rest, and it is as certainely the intendment of the Holy Ghost (as in that command, Wives obey your owne husbands,) that obey your Elders, &c. be meant not of some but of them all. 2. In Churches by their combination consisting of many Congregations where ordinarily some Pastors and tea∣chers feed some Congregations and not the rest, Ministers being Page  121 fixed, some to that Congregation, and others to other Congrega∣tions, yet there being a government in common by all the Presby∣ters of those Congregations in all weighty matters and greater cases that fall out, those precepts of obey your Elders and them that are over you, reach to all the Elders as well as to those that particularly and ordinarily preach to them, and however it is true such places are especially understood of them, yet not of them on∣ly, and alone, as excluding others, as your argument carried it, but including others who are over them too: And to answer you by your own instance given of servants, obey your own governours, as by vertue of that text, particular servants are to obey their own Masters, so by the same text each particular servant and all of them together of such a Company and Hall, in the things and rules of their calling (for the publike good of that Societie) they are to obey and be subject to the whole Company, namely the particular masters of other servants as to their own masters, yea and to sub∣mit to the common Orders and good Rules of such a Hall and Corporation though their particular Masters doe not vote for but against them. 3. Those Rulers who are of the Presbytery are not forraigne nor extrinsicall to the Congregations, but intrinsicall and naturall as well as their particular Elders, so that another with∣out themselves doth not beare rule over them, but all of them to∣gether by common consent doe rule every one, which is a most mild and free forme of Church government, for the proofe of which I shall not enlarge but referre you for satisfaction to what is said to this point, both by the Commissioners of the Church of Scotland, and by some Churches from beyond the * seas, in their Letters upon occasion of your Apologie. 4. It is a fallacious way of reasoning from the oeconomicall relations and government of husbands over wives, and fathers over children, and masters over servants, and their subjection and obedience to husbands, &c. unto the Ecclesiasticall and Politicall, because it is not to speake ad idem, for in each of these the way of govern∣ment is different: for instance in those oeconomicall relations a woman can have but one husband, one man can be but her hus∣band, and one man a father, and the wife and child cannot Pelin∣quish them, di•…avow them though very bad, nor deny those duties Page  122 they owe them in those relations though censured by the Church, but they are to obey them, which yet holds not in the members of a particular Congregation to Elders and Ministers that are un∣worthy and excommunicated, that the members must be subject to them. The Royalists that argue so from that subjection and obe∣dience which children owe their fathers, to subjects subjection and obedience to Princes; and the Hierarchicall men, that argue from what children owe to natural parents though wicked and ungodly, to what the people owe to wicked ministers, are answered at large, and you know what Mr Robinson and many of your way say to that: Now the same will serve to answer your compa∣risons, that the places hold not alike between the people and the Elders, and the wives and their husbands: Mr Baynes answers in the last page of his Diocesans Tryall, that which is objected touching Pastors and Fathers: That the similitude holds not in all things, parents and sheapheards, are absolutely parents and sheapheards, be they good or evill; but spirituall parents are no longer so then they doe accordingly behave themselves. 5. The very instances you give of wives obey your own husbands, and servants your own governours, doth not therefore only tye them to civill subjection and obedience to husbands and Masters, exempting them from sub∣jection to any others, but they are subject to the Magistrates in the Common-wealth and to common-Lawes notwithstanding, so neither doth the Scriptures, obey your Elders, &c. (supposing the full latitude of those Scriptures were of the Elders of particular Congregations) forbid or exempt men from that Ecclesiasticall subjection and obedience which concernes them as they stand in relation to the community.

To the third Reason hinted for your selves, and against the reformed Churches, that the Elders of other Congregations should have power and rule over Churches, which they doe not teach and feed ordinarily, by vertue of those forementioned precepts, was to you a question, &c. I answer, Suppose three or foure Congregations in one great Towne, should have Ministers in common to teach and feed them ordinarily (as in Holland,) would you in such a case yeeld to a Presbyteriall combination; if you say you would, then the case is determined for us, and thus I Page  123 judge it was in the Acts of the Apostles in Primitive Churches, but if you answer you would not yeeld to such a classicall govern∣ment, then I reply, 'tis not for want of such Ministers teaching you and feeding ordinarily that you will not obey, but upon some other ground, and then this argument is lost: Secondly, I answer, your ruling Elders doe not feed nor teach you ordinarily, but only governe you, and yet by vertue of those forementioned precepts you obey them, and are subject to them, so that this is no good ar∣gument against the lawfulnesse of having power and authority over those whom men teach not ordinarily; for then what be∣comes of the Ruling Elders in the Church, who are neither Pastors nor Teachers.

To the fourth Reason drawn from Corporations, who have the power and priviledge of life and death within themselves, which kind of power you would have. I answer, you cannot frame a good argunment from Corporations and civill power, to bodies Ecclesiasticall, and spirituall power, and I might give you the many differences alledged by your selves between civill power, and Ecclesiasticall, and the different manner of dispensa∣tion, but I must not enlarge here, only referre you for this to a Mr Robinson,b Mr Burroughs, and c Dr Ames. 2. Corporations goe according to the Lawes of the Land, and to their Charters agre∣ed upon, and made in Parliaments, they make not themselves a Corporation, nor goe not according to private rules and orders to passe sentence of death, &c. but are ruled (though they have Of∣ficers, as Major and Aldermen) by the Laws of the Land, and so going, they may more safely have a power within themselves: but your particular Congregations set up your selves without leave of Magistrates or Ministers, not proceeding upon common rules of government in sentences of Excommunication, &c. agreed by Sy∣nods, but only upon your own wills, and private rules which you have fancied are laid down in Scripture. 3. Corporations though they judge their members, and passe sentence of life and death within themselves, yet sometimes, nay often in greater cases and offences, their inhabitants are tried, and sentences passed upon them in other Courts of Justice, and that when they would proceed against them, yet the matter is carried higher to be tried; If you Page  124 would grant this in the Corporations to your Congregations, that Assemblies and Synods might judge and passe sentence upon your members (as oft as they see just ground) the controversie were at an end. 4. The Corporations (that is those in place and power) if they proceed unjustly, are accountable to the State they live in, that is to a higher civill power, and adjudged themselves in cases of wrong, condemning the innocent, suffering delinquents to escape, but your Corporations of particular Congregations even in case of reall Administration, are against all judging and all Ecclesiasticall Authoritative power out of your own Congre∣gations.

To the fifth Reason hinted by you to strengthen your practise that it was safe and allowed, and the Reformed Churches more questionable, namely appealing to them who have read books, whether much hath been written with strength, setly and directly to prove that government, but rather to overthrow Episcopall, and to maintaine those severall Officers in Churches which Christ hath instituted, and therefore you inferre you might have more ground to question this government of combined classicall Pres∣byteriall government. I answer, the ground of that is fully laid down in the Reformation of the Church of Scotland, page 17 and 18. with an account of what hath been written and done by the reformed Churches in France for the Presbyteriall way, and a∣gainst the popular Independent way (which is more then you once in this Reason hinted) but suppose that in former writings of Calvin, Beza, Zanchius, Peter Martyr; Danaeus, Iunius, Zep∣p•…rus, Gersom Bucerus, Dr Reynolds, Parker, there hath not been much setly and directly insisted on, and with strength to prove the government of Synods and Classes (though in some of these more especially, as against the Church of Rome, and Episcopall govern∣ment, much strength is brought for the government by Synods and Classes) yet that which those Divines of Scotland, Holland, Eng∣land, have written of late against the Independent congregationall government, might have been enough to have satisfied you, and thats not materiall that no more have written, seeing out of the mouth of two or three witnesses every word shall be established; and if these books had not strength to satisfie you, why have not Page  125 you all this while answered them? but I must mind you of for∣getting one of your own Divines, for besides the learned Licensers booke against Independencie, another booke was written, cald Reasons against the Independent government of particular Con∣gregations, and the Toleration of them in this Kingdome: which booke in your seeming to take no notice of, I beleeve you remem∣ber above the rest, and in the 25 page of your Apologie, it ap∣peares you remember it, but the Authour of it belike is none of your Divines. And in the close now of this answer to your Rea∣sons hinted about the government and discipline of the Church, why you in your Congregationall way should be in the truth, but the Presbyteriall government was a question to you and jud∣ged an additament, because the Presbyterians allowed you what you practised, and granted what you held, but themselves held and practised over and above; I answer, this is no Argument at all, for by the same reason the Samaritans should have worshipped God truly, but the Iewes falsely, and the Samaritans might have * said to the Iewes as you doe to the Presbyterianns; the five books of Moses which we owne to be sure they are from God, you ac∣knowledge them, but for the books of the Prophets, thats a que∣stion which rests upon you that allow what we hold, to make evi∣dent and demonstrate: and so the Iews may now by the same reason speake against the Christians, and say, we are in the safer way, to be sure we practise safely, for you Christians confesse what we hold, namely Moses and the Prophets to be the Scriptures, but for the new Testament that is to us a question and an additament, which therefore rests upon you Christians to make good, who beleeve and practise over and above us.

And whereas the common prejudice and exception laid into all*mens thoughts against us, and our opinions is, that in such a Con∣gregationall government thus entire within it selfe, there is no al∣lowed sufficient remedy for miscarriages, though never so gross•…; no reliefe for wrongfull sentences or persons injured thereby; no roome for complaints: no powerfull or effectuall meanes to reduce a Church or Churches that fall into heresie, schisme, &c. but every one is left and may take liberty without controule to doe what is good in their own eyes; we have (through the good pro∣vidence Page  126 of God upon us) from the avowed declarations of our judgements among our Churches mutually during our exile, and that also confirmed by the most solemne instance of our practise, wherewith to vindicate our selves and way in this particular, which upon no other occasion we should ever have made thus publike.

God so ordered it that a scandall and offence fell out between those very Churches whilst living in this banishment (where∣of we our selves, that write these things, were then the Mini∣sters) one of our Churches having unhappily deposed one of their Ministers, the other judged it not only as too sudden an act (having proceeded in a matter of so great moment without •…n∣sulting their sister Churches, as was publikely professed we should have done in such cases of concernment) but also in the procee∣dings thereof as too severe, and not managed according to the rules laid downe in the word. In this case our Churches did mu∣tually and universally acknowledge and submit to this as a sacred and undoubted principle and supreame law to be observed among all Churches, that as by vertue of that Apostolicall command, Churches as well as particular men are bound to give no offence neither to Iew nor Gentile, nor the Churches of God they live amongst; So that in all cases of such offence or difference, by the obligation of the Common Law of communion of Churches, and for the vindication of the glory of Christ, which in common they holdforth, the Church or Churches challenged to offend or differ, are to submit themselves (upon the challenge of the offence or complaint of the person wronged) to the most full and open triall and examination by other neighbour Churches offended thereat, of what ever hath given the offence: And further that by vertue of the same and like law of not partaking in other mens sins, the Churches offended may and ought upon the impenitencie of those Churches, persisting in their errour and miscarriage to pronounce that heavy sentence against them, of with-drawing and renouncing all Christian communion with them untill they doe repent; And further to declare and protest this, with the cau∣ses thereof, to all other Churches of Christ, that they may doe the like.

Page  127And what further authority, or proceedings purely Ecclesiasticall, of one, or many sister Churches, towards another whole Church, or Churches offending, either the Scriptures doe holdforth, or can rationally be put in execution (without the Magistrates inter∣posing a power of another nature, unto which we upon his parti∣cular cognisance, and examination of such causes, professe ever to submit, and also to be most willing to have recourse unto) for our parts we saw not then, nor doe yet see. And likewise we did then suppose, and doe yet, that this principle of submission of Chur∣ches that miscarry unto other Churches offended, together with this other, that it is a command from Christ enjoyned to Churches that are finally offended, to pronounce such a sentence of non∣communion and withdrawing from them whilest impenitent, ac unworthy to hold forth the Name of Christ, (these principles be∣ing received and generally acknowledged by the Churches of Christ to be a mutuall duty, as strictly enjoyned them by Christ as any other) that these would be as effectuall meanes (through the blessing of Christ) to awe and preserve Churches and their Elders in their duties, as that other of claime to an authorita∣tive power Ecclesiasticall to excommunicate other Churches or their Elders offending; For if the one be compared with the other, in a meere Ecclesiasticall notion, that of Excommunication pre∣tended hath but this more in it, That it is a delivering of whole Churches, and their Elders offending unto Satan, (for which we know no warrant in the Scriptures, that Churches should have such a power over other Churches.) And then as for the binding obligation both of the one way and the other, it can be supposed to lye but in these two things; First, In a warrant and injunction given by Christ to his Churches, to put either the one or the other into execution: And secondly, That mens consciences be accor∣dingly taken therewith, so as to subject themselves whether unto the one way or the other: For suppose that other principle of an authoritative power in the greater part of Churches combined to excommunicate other Churches, &c. to be the ordinance of God, yet unlesse it doe take hold of mens consciences, and be recei∣ved amongst all Churches, the offending Churches will steight all such excommunications as much, as they may be supposed to Page  128 doe our way of protestation and sentence of non-communion. On the other side, let this way of ours be but as strongly entertained, as that which is the way and command of Christ, and upon all occa∣sions be heedfully put in execution, it will awe mens consciences as much, and produce the same effects. And if the Magistrates power (to which we give as much, and (as we thinke) more, then the principles of the Presbyteriall government will suffer them to yeeld) doe but assist and back the sentence of other Chur∣ches denouncing this non-communion against Churches miscar∣rying, according to the nature of the crime, as they judge meet, and as they would the sentence of Churches excommunicating o∣thers Churches in such cases, vpon their owne particular iudge∣ment of the cause; then, without all controversie this our way of Church proceeding will bee every way as effectuall as their other can be supposed to be; and we are sure, more brotherly and mor•… suited to that liberty and equality Christ hath endowed his Chur∣ches with, But without the Magistrates interposing their au∣thority, their way of proceeding will be as ineffectuall as ours; and more liable to contempt, by how much it is pretended to be more authoritative; and to inflict a more dreadfull punishment, which carnall spirits are seldome sensible of. This for our judge∣ments.

And for a reall evidence and demonstration both that this was then our judgements, as likewise for an instance of the effectuall successe of such a course held by Churches in such cases, our own practise, and the blessing of God thereon, may plead and testifie for us to all the world. The manage of this transaction in briefe was this. That Church which (with others) was most scan∣dalized, did by Letters declare their offence, requiring of the Church (supposed to be) offending in the Name and for the vin∣dication of the honour of Christ, and the relieving the party wronged, to yeeld a full and publike hearing before all the Chur∣ches of our Nation, or any other whomsoever offended, of what they could give in charge against their proceedings in that depo∣sition of their Minister, and to subject themselves to an open triall and review of all those forepassed carriages that concerned that particular; which they most chearfully and readily (according to Page  129 the forementioned principles) submitted unto, in a place, and State where no outward violence or any other externall autho∣rity either civill or Ecclesiasticall, would have enforced them thereunto: And accordingly the Ministers of the Church of∣fended with other two Gentlemen, of much worth, wisedome and piety, members thereof, were sent as messengers from that Church; and at the introduction and intrance into that solemne assembly (the solemnity of which hath left as deepe an impres∣sion upon our hearts of Christs dreadfull presence as ever any we have been present at,) it was openly and publikely prosessed in a speech that was the preface to that discussion, to this effect, that it was the most to be abhorred maxime that any religion hath ever made profession of, and therefore of all other the most contradi∣ctory and dishonourable unto. that of Christianity, that a single and particular society of men professing the Name of Christ, and pretending to be endowed with a power from Christ to judge them that are of the same body and society within themselves, should further arrogate unto themselves an exemption from giving ac∣count or being censurable by any other, either Christian Ma∣gistrates above them, or neighbour Churches about them. So farre were our judgements from that independent liberty that is impu∣ted to us, then, when we had least dependency on this Kingdom, or so much as hopes ever to abide therein in peace. And for the issue and successe of this agitation, after there had been for many dayes as judiciary and full a charge, tryall and deposition of witnesses openly afore all commers of all sorts, as can be expected in any Court where authority enjoynes it, that Church, which had of∣fended, did as publikely acknowledge their sinfull aberration in it, restored their Minister to his place againe, and ordered a solemne day of fasting to humble themselves afore God and men, for their sinfull carriage in it; and the party also which had been deposed did acknowledge to that Church wherein he had likewise sinned.

In this part of your Apologie are contained the fourth and fifth of those five forementioned heads, unto which I referred all I should answer to what you say upon your third and last instance about the government and discipline in the Churches: The scope Page  130 of which fourth head is, to answer and take off a common obje∣ction brought against your way, the strength of which answer is made up of those parts, and stands in these particulars. First, In laying downe your own principles which you hold in such a case. Secondly, Your practise according to those principles, occasioned upon an offence committed in one of your Churches (which story you briefly relate.) Thirdly, The successe and effectualnesse of your practise according to your principles, illustrated by an instance.

Now for that common exception laid into all mens thoughts against your Congregationall way, it's both a just and strong Argu∣ment against it, and that which many of your way, when it hath been, objected to them have confessed, there is no remedy nor help in such cases, but advice and counsell, all must be left to Christ, Christ will take care of his own way, they had not found out this allowed sufficient remedy for miscarriages which you have here propounded, but I shall labour to make evident, that all you bring by way of answer in declaration of your judgements and practise doth not satisfie this objection. And first for your judge∣ments in the principles you hold and lay downe, I shall endea∣vour to prove, that you have no Scripture grounds, nor Primitive patterns for such principles, and such a way in such cases. Second∣ly, Besides that these principles have no footing in Scripture, and so they are no allowed remedy for miscarriages, &c. are not nor will not be a sufficient remedy for miscarriages, nor reliefe for wrongfull sentences, nor powerfull effectuall meanes to reduce a Church, &c. For the first I shall take it for granted, you being wise men, that in such a point as this (being the maine point of difference betwen you and the Presbterians) and at such a time as this you would bring the strongest Scriptures and grounds you had for your sacred principle and supreame law to be observed among all Churches, namely of submission of Churchrs, and for that other principle of pronouncing that heavy sentence of non∣communion against a Church or Churches; and if I can shew the invalidity and weaknesse of these brought by you, a man may conclude ther's no feare of whats behind: Now a man would wonder that wise men as you are should except against a govern∣ment received so generally amongst the reformed Church•…s, and Page  131 blessed so from Heaven in the effectualnesse of it, for the space of so many yeares, as a sufficient remedy not only to reduce men from heresies and schisme, but to prevent Churches from falling in∣to heresie, schisme, &c. (which is more) and goe set up a new way so different and so distastfull to the reformed Churches; and all upon pretences of no sound proofe in Scripture for such a go∣vernment, because there is not an Apostolicall direction either in example or precept for it, and in the meane time to contend for such a government wherein yourselves cannot deny but hath fal∣len out strange miscarriages, (and you tell us an unhappy story for proofe, and yet the way and course you have substituted for remedy, hath neither example nor precept in the word of God to practise any title of all that you relate to us, and besides that the course prescribed by you is not commanded in the word, it is no whit so rationall, nor conducible to the ends you appoint it for, as we will shew presently: Now for the Scriptures brought by you, the first is, 1 Cor. 10. 32. Give none offence neither to the Iewes nor to the Gentiles, nor to the Church of God: where first the Reader may observe you alter the text, putting Churches of God instead of Church of God; and then you adde they live amongst: The alteration (I suppose) you make upon this ground, for feare this text in the reading of it should hint that truth, how the visible Church in Scripture is taken for more then one particular Con∣gregation: the addition they live amongst, to make it a seeming ground for Churches in a vicinitie: whereas the Apostle speakes of the Church of God generally, all the Churches, whether we live amongst them or farre from them, and the scope of the Apostle in this place, is upon the occasion of that particular offence which might arise to some Corinthians, from eating meat sacrificed to Idols, having been told that this is sacrificed to Idols, to lay down a generall rule to all Christians against giving offence to any, whe∣ther Jewes, Gentiles or Christians, (under which three ranks all men then in those times were comprehended:) Now pray tell me how will you make this text to prove, that Churches offending and distering among themselves, must submit themselves to the most full and open triall and examination of other neighbour Churches offended? and how will you from this place draw ou•…Page  132 a power for neighbour Churches to send unto and require this of the Churches who have offended them; This Scripture (if all In∣terpreters understand it that I have consulted with) layes downe a rule, that every particular Christian, and so all Christians must so walke as to become all things to all men, to please all men in all things lawfull, as the 33 verse interprets it, and to give none of∣fence; But where doth this Scripture speake, and how doth it af∣firme, that if either Churches or particular Christians doe pra∣ctise things that offend other Churches, they who are offended have power and authority to send to them, and to call them to the most full and open triall and examination, and that such who are challenged to offend, must submit to such a judiciall and open tri∣all before all commers? In this text there is no more said of the Church of God then of the Jews and Gentiles, who must not be offended neither, and will you allow Jewes and Gentiles offended by things done in your Churches, to call your Churches to an ac∣count and you must submit: This text reaches to Churches that live in other Countries, and unto particular Christians, though they be not members of any such instituted Church as you speake of, so that by vertue of this text we ought to give them no offence; but will you grant that Churches of other Countries and King∣domes may call Churches in another Kingdome to an open triall and examination, and send their messengers to question them, and thereupon pronounce sentence of renouncing all Christian com∣munion with them, or that every particular man offended may call Churches to an account, and they are bound to submit to hea∣ring and tryall? I will give you one instance; I am much offen∣ded at the great rent and difference that was betwixt Mr Bridge and Mr Simpson, and at Mr Simpsons setting up a new Church, and at all that great bitternesse betwixt those Churches; and I am much offended at the Church of Arnheim, for letting passe that schisme and all those differences, never questioning it, especially questioning Mr Bridges Church: Now have I a power by vertue of this precept, to call both you and your Churches to an account, and to require of you a most full and open tryall before all com∣mers, and are you bound to submit to it? answer me this que∣stion in your Reply, and you shall see what I will say to you in my Page  133 Rejoinder. For that other Scripture, 1 Tim. 5. 22. Neither be partakers of oth•… mens sinnes; that is spoken to Timothy in regard of his authoritative power in the Church of God, as the scope of the chapter, and the immediate precedent words shew, (which is not your case denying authoritative power;) but if you say this text is meant secondarily of all Churches and Christians, though they have not authoritative power; I grant it, but then it is in wayes suitable which the word of God gives warrant and al∣lowance for; as in reproving, mourning for the sin, &c. which must be shewne in some other Scriptures; For else the Presbyte∣rians may pretend by vertue of this text, that they ought not to be partaker of other mens sins; that they may censure, depose, ex∣communicate members of other Churches who are suffered to goe on in sin, better then you can draw from this text, that you may call not only particular members, but whole Churches to an ac∣count, examine them and pronounce that heavy sentence of non∣communion against them: But in a word bretheren let me tell you, if such generall texts as these, that may be applied to any course and way conceived by men in their own braines, to hinder sin and reduce from offences, will serve turne for Church government, and for remedies to reduce Churches, then we can give you be∣sides your own two texts quoted here for your principle of sub∣mission of Churches and non-communion, many other such and more probable too, for the authoritative power of Presbyteries and Sinods, as that in 1 Cor. 14. 22. And the spirits of the Pro∣phets are subject to the Prophets; but we are not so hard put to it, there being particular instances and examples (if the nature of an Answer to such a Narration would permit me to insist at large) that proove the points in difference, namely of acts of power ex∣ercised by Churches in common, as in elections, determinations, and impositions upon differences and controversies, as Acts 15. 2. 4, 6, 7, 13, 22, 23, 24, 28, 29. Acts 16. 4, 5. 2 Corinih. 8. 18, 19. But let the indifferent reader judge by this which hath been said, whether the reformed Churches or the Independent practise most safely, there being a ground as your selves confesse for the sentence of excommunication, such a sentence you acknowledge in parti∣cular Churches, and practise it, and such a sentence hath been Page  134 decreed and past upon members of Churches, by those who were not members of those Churches, as the Scriptures are cleare for it, 1 Tim. 1. 19, 20. But on the other hand it is not granted, that the Scriptures give any ground of pronouncing the sentence of non∣communion against whole Churches, or doe allow any such pra∣ctise of declarations and protestations unto all Churches against whole Churches, this I utterly deny, and your Scriptures prove them not; and I wonder how you dare call it the command of Christ, and the way of Christ, as you doe in page 18, 19. And brethren, besides that, the Scriptures give neither precept nor ex∣ample for your way of non-communion, consider whether the Scriptures give not grounds rather to the contrary, namely against a particular Churches withdrawing and renouncing all Christian communion with whole Churches upon an errour and miscarriage, for let me aske you, may not such a Church or Churches be true Churches for all this, continue in their offices upon mistaken par∣tiality, and notwithstanding all the light a particular Church can give them be unsatisfied? now if a particular man may not se∣parate nor withdraw Christian communion from a true Church, though upon his counsell and advise she redresse not, but 'tis a schisme, then for one Church upon counsell and advice given to more Churches (though not taken) to separate formally from many Churches by pronouncing that heavy sentence of withdraw∣ing and renouncing all Christian communion cannot be justified: Paul did not renounce nor cast-off Churches for many things amisse, though upon his counsell they were not mended, (as ap∣peares in the Church of Corinth that had been twice admonished, 2 Cor. 13. 1, 2. and •…t repented not, and now Paul doth it the third time,) and yet refusing Pauls counsell and power being so infallible and authoritative, deserved more the sentence of non∣communion, then the often rejecting the counsell and power of any particular Church can doe. But I will answer you in your own language, that your sacred and undoubted principles, and supreame laws of submission of Churches, and of the power of Churches offended to pronounce the heavy sentence of non-com∣munion against the Churches offending, and of Declarations and Protestations to all other Churches of Christ that they might doe Page  135 the like, with your own practise exprest in the 20 and 21. page, are to me Apocriph•…, and judge it to be an additament, which therefore rests on you who allow the sentence of excommunica∣tion, to make evident and demonstrate that of non-communion, Protestations, Declarations, &c. And thus it often falls out whilst men will oppose that which hath long been received in the Church of God upon pretence of the want of Scripture grounds, and bring in new wayes, they practise novelties upon lesse ground and foun∣dation from Scriptures then they rejected the old (as is to be seen in this instance.)

2. As these principles of your•… have no footing in Scripture, so it will appeare they are no sufficient remedies for miscarriages and evills, which fall out in particular Churches by reason of their compleate and entire power within themselves: first, because there are more acts of power then your principle of submission of Churches and the instances you give upon it reach unto, so that granting all you say of it, yet it would but reach to that particular case, or some such like cases, but would be no way sufficient either for preventing or remedying other evills and mischiefs which d•…e and would arise upon a Congregationall government thus entire within it selfe: So that here lies the fallacy in the question be∣tween you and the reformed Churches in point of government, you speake to some points of government but not to all, and in∣stead of laying down principles that should answer all cases, they only serve but to some, and so your principles that should be sim∣pliciter, are only secundum quid: For in the government of the Church there are many other acts of power, as of making and or∣daining Ministers, of receiving in Members, of agreeing upon a government, doctrine and worship, &c. which this full com∣pleat entire power of particular Congregations takes upon them to doe, of which many great mischiefes doe arise and are like er∣rours in the first concoction, which your principle of submission of Churches reacheth not unto, nor doth not help. But secondly, besides this, the principle of submission of Churches that miscarry unto the other Churches offended, with that practise of Chur∣ches finally offended to denounce such a sen•…ence of Non-communion, doth not answer the case alleadged in heresies, Page  136 schisme, or persons injured, nor is not a sufficient remedie, like that of combination of Elders, and for the making good of that I shall examine the way, and course prescribed by you, in your principles here laid downe of Submission, Non-communion, Declarations and Protestations; and though as comming out in such a juncture of time, wherein the strife is betweene Presbyteriall government and Independent for pree∣minence, and comming from so many heads laid together, it cannot be imagined, but it should come forth doubly refined, and in the most plausible advantagious way, and in the best edition that 'tis possible such wits, and so many could set it out in (an U∣topia indeed rather then what it can be in common practise) (this being the third Edition, the first that of the Brownists, the second of New-England, and now this the third) yet the Reader may observe into what uncertainties, labirinths, tediousnesse, delayes, nay absurdities and contrarieties these principles doe leade them that follow them.

1. Whereas in Presbyteriall government each part and every particular is ruled by the whole and in common, the lesse by the greater, in your way an equall part must take upon them cogni∣zance and call to an account an equall.

2. Not only so, but suppose two or three Churches fall out and have a difference among themselves, and there be but one Church free, who yet is offended at the others, then one must order two or three, the lesse the greater, and what a rule is this.

3. This principle of submission being voluntary amongst the Churches, we may well suppose sometimes the Churches challen∣ged to offend or differ will submit, and sometimes they will not, or at least not yet, and when they know themselves faulty, they may pretend many things to put it off and to delay the time (which time will be both very prejudiciall to the persons wron∣ged, and to the spreading of the heresie and schisme) and if by delayes they see they cannot have their ends, what if for all their principle of submission, they flie of, and refuse to yeeld to such a full and open tryall before all commers, and shall denie other Churches that power of examining, deposing Witnesse•…, &c. up∣on pretence of conscience, that there is no primitive patterne for Page  137 it (as you do deny the power of determination and imposition) how will you bring them to it; whereas in Presbyteriall government times of meeting being fixt, and agreed upon, men cannot evade, but matters will be quickly heard and remedied.

4. As in reason and by experience amongst wise men it is held a vaine course which no publicke company of men will yeeld to (but such practises are rather accounted ridiculous) to raise such dust and make such 〈◊〉 doe to call others to account, to depose Witnesses, spending many daies in a judiciarie way, and yet have no power to end things, to be never the nearer, but that Delin∣quents may doe neverthelesse what they please, so it cannot be conceived that the wise God hath ordered in the Government of his Churches such a kind of way for Churches who are of a publike capacitie, and have a power (as you grant) to call Churches thus to an account, &c. and yet nothing to be done to the offenders: Churches offended either have not power to doe thus much as you grant, or else they have a greater power, namely to bring about the ends, which these meanes tend unto, namely determination and decision, the righting persons injured, and the censuring the offending parties: But it will be said by you, that if the Chur∣ches offending take not the counsell and advice of their sister Chur∣ches about them, but persist in their errour and miscarriage, that censure of the sentence of Non-communion will be a sufficient re∣medie and an effectuall meanes to reduce them, and remedie all, as well as that of the Presbyterians. I will not here enter into com∣parison between these two, but do reserve it to it's proper place.

The 5t and last generall head, though besides Excommunica∣on there are other things in the Classicall Synodicall way both to preserve and reduce Churches (which are not in the Indepen∣dent way.) But I answer this is no likely meanes nor way, for which I shall give these following reasons. 1. One Church may not be able to convince another of their errour or evill, much lesse one Church two or three Churches offending and differing. 2. The Church offending may stand upon it, that what they doe is according to their light, it is according to their conscience to hold such an opinion, or to doe such a fact, as to depose their Mi∣nister, because he hath no better gifts of preaching, and whether Page  138 may another Church passe the sentence of Non-communion a∣gainst whole Churches, and declare and protest this to all other Churches of Christ, that they may doe the like for opinions or practises that are not against the Churches knowne light? For if no other kind of sins then may evidently be presumed to be perpetra∣ted against the parties knowne light may be the subject of excom∣munication in particular persons, may they be the subject of Non-communion of whole Churches? 3. In reason this seemes not a powerfull meanes or probable way, for if this one Church of∣fended shall renounce the Churches challenged to offend, they may and will renounce that Church also, passing the sentence of Non-communion, &c. against that, and how shall the matter now be healed and remedied. 4. That Church or Churches thus sentenced (may be) care not for the Communion of this Church that cast them off, nor of no others, as long as they can have communion amongst themselves; These kind of Churches that hold such principles of entire compleate power within them∣selves, with that principle of sufficiencie of all gifts, and all ordi∣nances within themselvs, will goe on in their errours and sinfull pra∣ctises for all that. 5. The Churches renounced and cast out may challenge the Churches casting them out for injuring of them, and thereupon both Churches may declare and protest against each o∣ther to all other Churches of Christ, which will prove as great a rent-difference, nay worse then the first, and this will produce a great deale of defending and proving; for if the Churches on both sides doe declare against one another unto the other Churches, which of them now shall be beleeved, and what if the Churches protested and declared unto, will not upon the Protestations with∣draw and renounce all Christian communion with them, must they then protest against them also, and what the Churches pro∣testing may account matter of Non-communion, other Churches declared and protested unto may not judge so, so that here will be worse matter of difference and divisions in the Church of God then before, and I suppose you would not have those Churches declared and protested unto to condemne the rest sentenced with∣out a hearing (especially where there is but one to one, or where one may declare and protest against two or three) so that then there Page  139 must be sending for all these Churches, and meetings appointed for the Churches protested unto, to heare the Churches on both sides, and what now if the Churches declared unto upon the hearing the Churches on both sides, both censuring and censured, shall acquit the Churches condemned and censured, and shall condemne and judge those Churches for renouncing communion as too severe and de∣claring thus to all other Churches against them: what must be done in these cases? will these Churches censuring now acknow∣ledge their offence, and revoke their sentence of Non-communi∣on, or if they will not, what must these Churches protested unto doe in this case? must not they passe the sentence of Non-commu∣nion against them? and if they doe so, what if these Churches censuring shall also pronounce the heavie sentence of Non-com∣munion even against these Churches protested and declared unto? Now that these things and worse may not and will not fall out cannot be denied, which things as to the neighbour Churches a∣mong themselves will be great occasion of schismes and continu∣all differences, so will they minister matter of great scandall to all other Churches, and of tryumph and evill speaking unto ene∣mies, all which will be easily prevented and remedied in the Pres∣byteriall government. Sixthly, Two or three Churches or more of your Independent way living amongst other Churches, (as you did in Holland) or if your Congregations should be to∣lerated in England according to your desire, you may hold this principle of submission to one another, and yet all agree in hol∣ding some errours, with which errours you may infect many of the members of the Presbyteriall Churches, for which you will not question one another, what remedie or meanes is there now to reduce your Churches or preserve ours? Seventhly, Some of your Churches by vertue of this principle, that Church or Churches challenged to offend or differ, are to submit them∣selves upon the challenge of the offence to the most full and open triall and examination by other neighbour Churches, may be ever and anon unjustly calling upon some of the Churches to submit, and challenging them first with being offended by them, least themselves should be challenged to have offended, and so (as we speake) call whore first, and also they who are challenged to Page  140 offend, to be even with them, will challenge them againe, and what must be done in this case, and who shall interpose to deter∣mine these differences, or may both parties judged thus by each other to be offenders, determine against one an other. Eightly, If Churches must thus submit to trials and examinations, these being the acts of whole Churches, here will be nothing but trials and ex∣aminations and censures one upon another, and this instead of a sufficient remedy is like to proove a continuall vexation and mo∣lestation to neighbour Churches. Ninethly, What must be done in case one Church or more take offence unjustly at others, and trouble them thus to call them to open examination, &c. what sa∣tisfaction must be given to the Church troubled and examined. Tenthly, In this principle of submission of Churches, suppose that upon a hearing, the Church offending will not redresse the grie∣vance or relieve a person injured: But goe on, and slight com∣munion with other Churches, the persons injured in the meane time are debarred from the ordinances, and cannot remove their dwellings without manifest ruine of their families, how doth this help such persons injured, or is a sufficient remedy for wrongfull sentences, &c. Whereas now in the Presbyteriall way if such a Minister or officers who are the cause of this may be deposed, and acts passe against them, and others placed in their roomes, this will remedy and redresse it: And so suppose a Minister of note fall into heresie and errour, and draw the most of his people after him, so that he cannot be deposed by the Church, what good will the non∣communion pronounced against this Church by other Churches do for reducing them, but now if this Minister may be deposed, and an orthodox Minister put in to preach the truth, here is a power∣full meanes to reduce and preserve. Eleventhly, Let me aske you, and pray determine it from the Scriptures, in case two or three Churches offended doe challenge a Church or Churches offending, who yet upon submitting to a hearing will not yeild to the coun∣sell and advice of those Churches, who? how? where? after what time, and how many meetings? and after what manner must this sentence of non-communion be denounced against this Church or Churches? whether must it be denounced in and upon the place where they meet to heare and examine? or in the mee∣ting Page  141 place of each of these Churches offended? or must these Churches offended meet in one of their meeting places to pro∣nounce it together? and who must be the mouth? and who by warrant out of the Scriptures hath the power to pronounce that heavy sentence of non-communion? and how must it be made known unto the offending Churches, with other things of this like nature? To say no more now, this principle of non-com∣munion is so farre from being a sufficient remedy for miscarriages, or a reliefe for wrongfull sentences, or a powerfull means to reduce a Church or Churches, &c. that 'tis a remedy worse then the di∣sease, and if it should be practised would be the ground of many schismes, separations, mischiefes in the Church of God and that amongst whole Churches, so that it were farre better particular persons should suffer wrong, or particular persons fall into schisme and be left to their liberty, then whole Churches suffer those evils which your principles of non-communion, Declarations, Prote∣stations would undoubtedly produce (as the Reader may judge by what is here written.) For the second, your practise accor∣ding to this principle, occasioned upon an offence that fell out in your Churches; I shall shew that as insufficient as your prin∣ciples, and shall animadvert upon the most solemn instances of your practise: As for the Introduction into your relation of the scan∣dall and offence, I readily assent unto you, had you not judged it for the advantage of your selves and way you would upon no other occasion have made it thus publike; for you are good at concea∣ling of all your principles and practises, but when and where you may further and propagate your way; For the story it selfe (as it is related by you) it is very short and generall, neither ex∣pressing the Ministers name deposed, nor the causes of his depo∣sition, nor the first occasion of the differences, nor the way the Church took before they deposed him, nor the manner how they proceeded, nor how long he stood so deposed; so that the Reader cannot well tell what to make of it for want of a more full par∣ticular relation, or how to judge whether your principle of sub∣mission of Churches, and your practise here laid downe upon it was so proper, and so sufficient a remedy, and so effectuall a course as you boast of in page 20, 21. I must therefore of necessity in re∣ference Page  142 to the disprooving and weakning of what you would in∣ferre from your sacred principle and supreame law of submission, and the more solemne instance of your practise wherewith to vin∣dicate your selves and way in this particular, and that it may appeare it was but a halfe, slight, late and partiall remedy to the offences and scandall, relate the story more at large, and then make some queries upon it, and your solemne practise thereupon, and then I shall leave it to the Reader to judge whether your prin∣ciple of submission be comparable to the way of the combined classicall Presbyteriall government. The Church in which this offence fell out was at Roterdam, of which Mr Bridge and Mr Ward of Norwich, old loving friends, and both flying upon the same cause, Bishop Wrens Innovations, were the Ministers, and the Minister deposed by the Church was this Mr Ward, who for ap∣pearing and siding against Mr Bridge in some particulars, and for his preaching of Sermons in the Church at Roterdam, which he had preacht before in his Church at Norwich, and for his giving too much heed to the reports of simple people and old wives tales, was thus deposed; but I cannot so fully cause the Reader to un∣derstand matters without relating the first difference between Mr Bridge and Mr Simpson; the true ground and rise of this lat∣ter offence. Mr Simpson one of the Authours of this Apologe∣ticall Narration, after some time of beholding the order and way of this Church at Rotterdam, desired to be admitted a member, and was upon his confession, &c. received in, but not long after (what were the true reasons he best knows) he disliked some persons and things in that Church, and he stood for the ordinance of pro∣phesying to be exercised in that Church, that the people on the Lords dayes should have l•…berty after the Sermons ended, to put doubts and questions to the Ministers, &c. and he was troubled at a ruling Elder in that Church brought in by Mr Bridge (which belike had more power and bore more sway then himselfe) who as Mr Simpson in a Letter to a Minister in London, complaining of the difference between him and Mr Bridge, writ how that El∣der was in that Church over all persons and over all causes; but Mr Bridge opposed Mr Simpsons prophesying upon so the rationall grounds of inconveniencits (as himselfe told me the story, which Page  143 were too long to relate,) yet he yeelded so farre that the Church should meet on a weeke day, and then they should have that li∣berty, but this would no way satisfie Mr Simpson, whereupon the difference increased and there were sidings, but Mr Bridges power was the greater to carry things in the Church, and so Mr Simpson would abide no longer, but quitted that Church, (though he had no Letters of dismission from that Church) and with the help of a woman (whom Mr Bridge called, telling me the story of things between them, the foundresse of Mr Simpsons Church) set up a Church against a Church, consisting but of five persons at the most in the beginning, whereof the woman and her husband were two, but this Church of Mr Simpsons increased, as being extolled for a purer Church and for more ordinances, but Mr Bridges Church was cried downe for ould rotten members, and for the want of prophecie, and so the fire of contention and difference grew more and more between Mr Bridge and Mr Simpson, and their Churches: Now Mr Ward, Mr Bridges colleague sided with Mr Simpson, stood for prophesying, and though Mr Simpson had left that Church, yet Mr Ward in that Church was for Mr Simp∣sons way; whereupon by occasion of that and for exercising his gifts no better, but to preach his old Sermons he had formerly preacht at Norwich, and believing of tales, giving so much way to reports, he was deposed by that Church: Amongst 17 or 18 Rea∣sons of Mr Wards deposition, a godly learned Minister who had seen them in writing, told me these were the most materiall: And now upon Mr Simpsons rending from the Church, and setting up a Church against a Church under Mr Bridges nose, and upon Mr Wards deposition from his Ministery, and Mr Simpsons Church increasing in fame and number, but Mr Bridges decreasing and some others rending themselves away, and upon wicked reports raised about Mr Bridge, there grew that bitternesse, evill speakings, deep censurings, deadly feauds amongst these Ministers and their Churches, as never was more betwixt the Iews and the Sama∣ritans: Mr Bridge confessed to me, there were no such sharpe tongues nor bitter divisions as these: Letters from all three were sent into England both into City and Countrey against each other, Mr Simpson dispacht many Letters into England against MrPage  144Bridge, as to Mr M. Mr B. Mr H. Mr R. &c. and Mr Bridge against Mr Simpson. Mr Bridge and Mr Ward writ many Letters one a∣gainst the other, particularly to Norwich, and among other, many sharpe Letters were sent to a D of Physick about the diffe∣rences, and upon their comming over into England, they told sad stories for themselves, and each against other: M•…Bridge laid these bitter differences and reports so to heart, that they were a great meanes of her death, and whether Mr Bridges weaknesses and distempers were not occasioned by the divisions and the wic∣ked scandalls unjustly (I beleeve) raised upon him as well as by the aire of Rotterdam, Mr Bridge knowes best; And thus much for the particular relation of the scandall and offence that fell out in that Church of Rotterdam, as it hath been related to me from good hands, from some who have lived in Holland, and as I had part of it from Mr Bridges own mouth, and some of it from Let∣ters of Mr Simpsons written into England, and from other men of credit who have seen Letters and relations written from thence: Now from the relation of this story and your practise upon it, I shall propound these queries, which will give some light to judge whether there was any sufficiency in your course, to remedy and redresse things amisse in Churches, and betwixt persons of∣fending.

1. Whether your Churches did agree upon and tye your selves to this principle of submission, and the sentence of non-commu∣nion at your first setting up and comming into that place of exile, or did you first acknowledge it, and were willing to submit upon the occasion of the scandall of Mr Wards deposing, and that great clamour upon it both in Holland and England?

2. Whether did you then, or doe you now acknowledge that principle of submission to all other neighbour Churches, as well as to them of your own way, as namely to the Presbyterian Chur∣ches, those English Churches at Amsterdam, Hague, Utrich; &c. and would you have submitted to those Churches to have so proceeded upon offences, and differences amongst you?

3. How long was it, was it not for the space of betweene a yeare and two that Mr Ward stood deposed and laid aside from his Ministery and maintenance, before he was restored, and if so Page  145 was not this a late remedie, and i•… it so in Presbyteriall govern∣ment.

4. When, and at what time was this principle of s•…bmission and your solemne practise both of •…equiring the Church offending to give an account, with their ch•…arfull submitting and restoring Mr Ward agreed upon? was it not upon the newes of the Parlia∣ment, and the probability of the revolution of things? And I pro∣pound this question, because Mr B•…rroughs who came in M. Wards place after his deposition, came backe to England, but at the be∣ginning of the Parliament, and till he came or was resolved to come, it is not probable M. Ward was restored, and if so, that it was done when all was like to breake up, and they to come f•…England, may we not suspect it was done for an instance to vin∣dicate your way with, and to serve your turne, as in this Apolo∣gie, rather then from any necessitie of righting a person •…jured, or correcting a Church offending?

5. Why did not the Church of Arnheim take offence as well at M. Sympsons Church, and at his schisme in setting up another Church, and at all that bitternesse, evill speaking betweene those two Churches (the ground indeed and foundation of that un∣happy businesse about M. Ward, and of all the evill committed therein) and accordingly have required M. Sympsons Church to have submitted, but here is not a hint of this in all the relation of your practise. I have a letter out of Holland by me that concer∣ning this businesse writes thus,

That though M. Sympson with s•…me f•…w mor•… r•…t themselves from M. Bridges Church, to the great offence thereof, yet M. Goodwin and his Associates when they came to heare the businesse about M. Ward, never questioned that scandall, I meane of their schisme from the same Church.
Now if it were so, was not this a partiall reme∣die, not reaching to all the offence, no•… to the bottome of it, why did you not summon both these Churches in the matter of scandall and difference to submit as well as one of the Churches? will not your principles serve in difference betweene Churches, as for dif∣ference in one Church, or was it that there was no complaint of neither side? or was it because you are tender of questioning the multiplication of Churches? (though by seperation and schi•…me) Page  146 Or what was the reason you questioned not that?

6. Whether were the other Churches of our Nation or any of them (who could not but be offended) as them of Amsterdam, Hague, Utrich, Leyden, Delph, cal'd in by Arnheim, or by the Church at Roterdam to joyne in the hearing, trying of that busi∣nesse, and deposing Witnesses, or did they send Messengers, or was it onely agitated by two Ministers •…nd two Messengers of t•… Church of Arnheim, one Church onely, 〈◊〉 to 〈◊〉, one to one, both equall? and whether there can be the like majesty and solemnity of a meeting where they are equall, •…ay an inferiority, (in as much as a representative Church consisting of foure is below a Church represented,) as in a Presbyteriall ass•…∣bly? I have a Letter from Holland by me, wherein a godly Minist•…r writes thus,

I was desired by Mr Ward to be present at that meeting, but when the time came, neither I, nor any other Eng∣lish Ministers but they of Arnheim were call•…d.

7. To what or to how much did your practise (who were the Church offended) amount unto upon Mr Bridges Church sub∣mission, and your full hearing and finding both sides to be in an errour? did you injoyne and draw up an order, that the Church offending should publikely acknowledge their sinf•… abe•…ation before you and the commers of all sorts? and restore their Mini∣ster againe? and that they should keep a solemne day of fasting to humble themselves for their sinfull carriage? and that the Mini∣ster deposed should acknowledge to the Church wherein he had likewise sinned? or did you leave them to themselves, upon your finding the offence, to doe what they thought fitting, both Church and Minister, as being against your principles for one Church to decree and impose any thing upon another, and so they •…ooke up this way voluntarily, would you would speake out, and once tell us plainely what you hold, and what you wo•…ld 〈◊〉 that so the Reader might judge of the effectualness•… of your 〈◊〉.

8. I aske of you whether Mr Bridge with the offending Church at Rotterdam did sit as Judges with them o•…〈◊〉, in their own cause to examine, depose, &c. or else 〈◊〉 by a•… delinquents, to be charged, tried, &c.

9. I de•…e to know of you, 〈◊〉〈◊〉〈◊〉〈◊〉 he was r•…∣stored, Page  147 did as formely officiate in that Church, and how long? and whether Mr Bridge and he continued there as fellow Ministers? and whether both between them two, and between the Church and Mr Ward, there was that mutuall carriage as before, and ought to be between fellow Ministers, and Ministers and people?

10. How can a Church representative be a sufficient and al∣lowed remedy to take up great offences in a Church at a great distance? and whether this implies not an implicit faith in the represented, to let the representers upon hearing put a finall deter∣mination and conclusion to great offences and differences without returning back the businesse to the Church represented, or so much as ever acquainting them with the businesse before all was ended, (as was in this particular case) and whether * Mr Robins•…s ar∣guments against the Presbyterians •…bout the power of their El∣ders be not strong against your principles and practises here rela∣ted? and what ground is there from t•…e Scripture, that foure men of another Church should have power to call unto and insist upon a judiciarie charge against them who were greater then themselves, namely against a whole Church consisting of officer•… and people.

11. Suppose the Church of Ar•…m (who sent two Minister•… and two Gentlemen •…s messengers of their Church, upon their re∣turne back to the Church and giving an account of all the procee∣dings, and issue of that businesse) had disliked the determinations, and judged some of the proceedings unjust, other•… unsatisfa∣ctory, and not according to the rules of the word, (as the Church of 〈◊〉 might well have done, there being just ground for it, as I will shew in the second particular under the next head.) What must have been done in this case? must the messengers themselves have been now questioned by the Church for managing matters no better? or must the sentences agreed upon both for the Church and Mr Ward be reversed? or must other messengers be sent to heare matters againe, and to change, or adde what was amisse? and what if the Church would not alter that which upon so full a hearing and triall was agreed upon? now I aske of you, and ap∣peale to the Reader, considering that the Church or Churches them∣selves may probably (and it cannot but be expected) 〈◊〉 and Page  148 vary in their judgements from their messengers about the deter∣mination of offences and differences, whether this be a likely meanes and sufficient remedy to end all strifed, or rather will not be as the beginning of new strife, and an occasion of endlesse con∣tentions.

12. In this way of submission of Churches, and your practises upon occasion of offences and differences, what if the messengers of the Churches upon hearing and examining differ among themselves about the differences and offences in the Church •…en∣ding, and about the sentences to be agreed upon to be commended to the offending parties? yea and what if the Churches themselves upon returne made by the messengers how they find matters, differ also, one of the Churches offended being of one mind, and the other Church offended of another mind, what remedy is there now for miscarriages? what reliefe for a person injured? or what effectuall and powerfull meanes to reduce a Church or Churches?

13. In your sentence of non-communion against Churches, and in your Declarations and Protestations to all other Churches of Christ •…hat they may doe the like, what shall become of some in∣nocent godly persons in that Church renounced and protested a∣gainst, must they be renounced communion with? what will you doe in the case where some in a Church may be free from the er∣rours and evils which the greater number are guilty of (which you account the Church,) must (they be debarred of all Christian communion with the Church offended, and all other Churches of Christ protested to? (you speake nothing here in this case, nor take no care for them, but wrap up all alike in your sentence of non-communion) must the innocent party now in this Church offending separate and withdraw from their own Church, and re∣nounce communion too, as well as the Church offended? what if all their maintenance and livelihood depends in living in that place, so that if they withdraw from them, they must either live without publike ordinances and communion, or else if they come away, ruine themselves and families? what also if in this Church offen∣ding the wife be one of the innocent persons in that Church, but the husband of the number of them that persist in their errour and miscarriage? the sonne and daughter among the innocent, the Page  149 fathers and mothers among the offenders, what must the wives and children renounce communion with their husbands and pa∣rents, and now either live without the ordinances there, or else goe away from their husbands and pare•…ts to some other Churches 〈◊〉 And in your drawing up your Declarations and Protestations a∣gainst those Churches persisting in their errours and miscarriages, will you in the grosse doe it, or will you signifie and declare all the names of those who remaine obstinate and impenitent in such Churches, with the names of those who are free from those errors and offences, least you should bring all the Churches of Christ pro∣tested unto into sin and a snare? pray resolve these cases with ma∣ny such (which by these now hinted) you may fore-see will fall out in your principle of non-communion of Churches and Pro∣testations.

Thirdly, For the successe and effectualnes of your practise, I an∣swer. 1. Supposing the particular instance of your practise, ac∣cording to the principle of submission of Churches that miscarry, to have had a good effect (as you relate in your two Churches of Arnheim and Rottendam) yet it followes not, it is a powerfull and effectuall meanes to reduce Churches; for a course may pre∣vaile in one and take with one, and yet have no rationality to carry it in others, for though this Church at Rotterdam did sub∣mit to them of Arnheim who were of note for parts, quality, &c. yet it is a question whether these would to some other particular Churches who had challenged them, and whether these men would also at all times, had there not been something cast in the ballance before hinted.

2. Take the best that came of the issue and successe of this agi∣tation between the Church of Arnheim and that of Rotterdam (namely that Church which had offended, acknowledging their offence in deposing Mr Ward and restoring him to his place againe) it was but a slender satisfaction for the losse of his Ministery and maintenance for so long a time, and for all the suffering of him and his family: If the Church offending had been enjoyned, or had or∣dered themselves to have paid him the profits of his place, or to have given him a good summe of money on their fast day, this had been some reliefe for a wrongfull sentence, and a person injured Page  150 thereby, and might have been a meanes to have preserved them from doing the like for time to come, but for a Minister and his fa∣mily to be so long in a sad condition without all maintenance in a strange Land, and in the issue for them who did this to acknow∣ledge only their sinfull aberration, and the Minister thus suffering to acknowledge his sin too, and both of them to be humbled for it alike; here was a poore remedy, •…ay as you relate it your selves it is very unjust and injurious, for in some passages of your Narra∣tion, you acknowledge the fault on the Churches side, as in page 16. and in page •…0. and that Mr Ward was wronged, and yet they were both equally ordered to a publike confession of sin and so∣lemne fasting, the Delinquent and the Innocent alike deale with, is this the fruit of your principle of submission of Churches and non-communion? is this the reall evidence and demonstration of the effectuall successe of such a course held by Churches in such a case? and was this the issue of all that sending to and solemne assembly, and the agitation of so many dayes, publike hearing by deposition of witnesses, so largely and formally related in page 20, 21? I wonder wise men (as you pretend to be) should not see into the weaknesse and folly of your own practise in this case, but tell such a story so to shame your selves, you should never have trou∣bled your selves to have come so many dutch miles, not the Church at Rotterdam, nor made so great adoe for many dayes of deposing witnesses, &c. (as your selves relate in page 20, 21.) to have put together the Innocent and Delinquents. And let me here put you this dilemma, either Mr Ward was unjustly deposed from his Mi∣nistery, both materially and formally upon unsufficient causes, as the matter for such a censure, and for the way and manner of it, as being too suddaine before admonition, and before fasting and prayer preceding, &c.〈◊〉 was justly deposed by the Church? if unjustly in both these respects (as your Narration implies, page 16.) why was Mr. Ward put upon acknowledging his sin to the Church, and put in the same condition with them who had dealt so unjustly both materially and formally? and whether this was not a meanes to hinder the Churches repentance and humiliation for their sin, when they should be put but to doe as Mr Ward? But if Mr Ward were justly doposed, why was the Church then put Page  151 upon publike acknowledgement, and ordered a solemne day of fa∣sting to humble themselves before God and man? and whether was Mr Bridge as well as the Church injoyned to confesse his sin∣full aberration in it, in that he did not interpose his authority and interest in the Church, nor speake a word to hinder the deposing of Mr Ward, and so to have prevented so great a scandall and offence as this was?

To the fifth and last generall head, the comparison you make between the effectualnesse and powerfulnesse of your way of sub∣mission and non-communion, and that of the Presbyterians, to awe and preserve Churches and Elders in their duties, and to re∣duce Churches miscarrying, where you make the s•…ales fall on your side rather. I answer, Besides some considerable things already hinted under some of the former heads (especially under the fourth head) which doe shew a wide difference of the effectualnesse and successe which the Presbyterian principles and way hold out over your Congregationall, th•…e are many other to 〈◊〉 the s•…les, which I shall now speake of, according as 'tis laid downe here by you in the 17, 18, and 19, pages.

1. That you may render your way the more specious and pro∣bable, you beg the question, and take for granted things denied, sup∣posing that also which never hath fallen out in the reformed Chur∣ches; and you speake but to a part of the way and remedie, (name∣ly excommunication) an•… from all these false premises you make your conclusion. You lay downe your way of submission and non∣communion 〈◊〉 that •…ch is the 〈◊〉 and way of Christ, and to be strictly enjoyned by Christ •…d that it is a command from Christ enjoyned to Churches that are •…ly offended, to denounce such a sentence of non-communion; which is a meere device of your own brains, and sound out to give a colourable answer to that common and 〈◊〉 reason against the Church-way 〈◊〉 you make that 〈◊〉〈◊〉 in Presbyteries, to be an excommunica∣ting of whole Churches, and •…s delivering of whole Churches and their Eldere offending unto Sa•…n, (which is a scandalous charge laid to tho Presbyterian government) and never yet was •…rd of in any of the reformed Churches for the space now of a hundred yeares past: You lay you give more to the Magistrates power then Page  152the principle of the Presbyteriall government will suffer them to yeeld, whereas in some things, I shall show the contrary, and in other things you may out of policie at this time give more then the Scriptures allow: You speake only of excommunication, a part of their way, whereas in combined classicall government there are many other meanes and ways from first to last to preserve and reduce from errors and offences.

2. The comparison made by you between the Presbyterians and Independents stands in two things: First, In the Ecclesiasticall proceedings and power; Secondly, In the civill Magistrates pow∣er: 1. For the Ecclesiasticall, you make that principle of submission of Churches that miscarry: and that of non-communion as effe∣ctuall as excommunication, which supposing they were (as I shall shew they are not) yet 'tis a fallacious reasoning by comparing the whole with a part, for a whole of one kind may be better and more excellent then some part of another kind, and yet not com∣parable to the whole: now there are many things in Presbyteriall government besides excommunication, excellent to preserve and keep the Churches: Their reformation and constitution being set∣led by Synods and Assemblies, their Ministers being ordained by Presbyteries and classes, their Doctrine, worship, government and discipline, upon serious debate, and by common content drawn up, then rules being fixt, known and certaine, their classicall mee∣tings frequent and constant, with higher Assemblies for appeales, their number and abilities great, their remedies and censures more solemne, and more in number, as deposition, suspension, &c. all which are wanting in the Church way (as I could shew at large, but that this answer would be too great a volume:) But to come to particulars, the Presbyterian is more effectuall then your Independent way: 1. Because it doth prevent and preserve from those many errours, divisions, evils which fall in your way (as is evident by experience, and is founded upon good reason will fall out) now how much better and more effectuall a way 'tis to play the fore-game then the after-game, all men know: 'tis bet∣ter to prevent the plague and taking in poyson then to expell it; government is for prevention as well as recovering, if your way were as effectuall to compose differences and reduce Churches, Page  153 yet not so to prevent, which is one of the great ends of Church go∣vernment. 2. Your way wraps in whole Churches in sin and guilt, and you have no remedy but it must come to non-communion of whole Churches, but in Presbyteriall 'tis not so, no example being extant among them of excommunicating whole Churches, so that if an errour take one or two, they are presently dealt with, and the errour spreads not to a whole Church. 3. In the Presbyte∣riall way, the persons offending and sinning in Congregations are proceeded with and punished, every man beares his own sin, but the innocent persons suffer not; but here in the way of non-com∣munion, some who are good in the Church suffer also many wayes, and here is no difference made by you, but all involved in the same condition. 4. In your way, as if all sins were equall, and all offen∣ders alike, all are punished with the same sentence of non-com∣munion; but 'tis not so in the Presbyteriall way. 5. Your sub∣missions and meetings are accidentall, uncertaine, free and at choice, they may be, and may not be, there are many wayes to evade and put them off; whereas the combinations and con∣sociations of Churches, are fixed, set, certaine. Amongst your Churches in Holland, in three or foure yeares there was but one act of submission, and one meeting, which is here related: In that dif∣ference between those two Churches at Rotterdam, there was no submission, but each Church blew the trumpet of defiance against each other; and so about the differences at Arnheim which the Church could not end in so long a time, no Church interposed; but in the classicall government there is such a subordination and de∣pendencie, such stated and fixed meetings, that if men should escape one, they do not all: now in government and order there is a ma∣teriall difference between what men may doe, or not doe, and what they have tied themselves unto and must stand to: In mat∣ters of civill difference referred to Arbitratours, 'tis one thing to submit to hearing, and to counsell upon it, and another thing to be bound to stand to the determination. There are many will doe justly, and performe such trusts whilest bound, who left at liberty will doe just nothing; now in your submission of Churches, though you submit to a hearing, yet you doe not submit to their determinations unlesse it like you, Page  154 you doe not submit to doe what they enjoyne, but you will order your selves according to their counsell (as you see occasion) now men being partiall in their own cause, and still their own judges, what a remedie is this? 'tis one thing when men know they are at liberty, and may doe, or not doe as they see good, and another thing when they must; we find it so in all, converse with men, and good men are men; there's a great deale of difference between authority and obedience, and only perswasion on the one part, and free will on the other, no man will deny but in civill matters there is a great difference in such cases; were it in the power of parti∣cular members in your Churches to submit or not submit, as they please, there would be much adoe to remedy any thing, as will be betwixt Churches differing: But particularly for excommunica∣tion and non-communion, excommunication may upon these grounds awe mens consciences more, and be more effectuall then non-communion; 1. Because there is something positive in it, it is a delivering of the offenders up unto Satan, but your non-com∣munion is a privative depriving only of communion; now there's more efficacie in a positive then in a privative and negative. Se∣condly, Excommunication doth deprive the persons offending, or the Churches of all communion among themselves as well as the communion of other Churches, whereas the sentence of non∣communion doth but take other Churches off from communion with them, but meddles not to debar them of communion among themselves in their own particular Churches, but still they enjoy the word, prayers, Sacraments, &c. which is a great difference. Third∣ly, Your selves make excommunication the greater censure, as ap∣peares by your own phrases, calling it an authoritative power, &c. and not practising that against other Churches, whereas you doe exercise the sentence of non-communion, and we know 'tis the highest censure in the Church; now certainely the greatest censures and more dreadfull punishments according to Christs institution and intention, are more effectuall and powerfull to awe and to re∣medie things amisse then the lesser and lower censures. And so much for the comparison in the Ecclesiasticall proceedings.

Secondly, In the civill Magistrates power you granting that ought to back and assist the sentence of non-communion against Page  155 Churches miscarrying according to the nature of the crime, and you giving more (as you think) to the Magistrates power in matters Ecclesiasticall then the principles of the Presbyteriall go∣vernment will suffer them to ye•…ld, your way of Church proceeding will be every way as effectuall as the Presbyterians. I answer, supposing all that you say of giving so much power to the Ma∣gistrate, &c, were true, yet that makes not your submission and non-communion so effectuall a meanes as excommunication, for the question is about Ecclesiasticall authority and spirituall power, and about spirituall meanes and remedies for the conscience and soule, and not about civill power, and civill externall meanes▪ and I would aske you this question upon this passage of the civill Ma∣gistrate, either you give him an Ecclesiasticall spirituall power of applying spirituall remedies and meanes to Churches miscarrying, or you doe not, if you give him not this first (as I judge your prin∣ciples will not allow you) he being no Church-officer of Christs •…hurch, but only Christ gave Pastors, teachers, &c. as necessary and sufficient for the government of his Church, then all you say of the Magistrate helps you not, 'tis nothing to the question in hand; but before I speake any more to that point, that the Magistrates power backing your sentence of non-communion is not compa∣rable to the Presbyterian way, I must animadvert upon the passage it selfe both in the comparative of your saying, you thinke you give more to the Magistrate then the Presbyterians, and upon the po∣sitive what you give them.

1. For the comparison, 'tis an odious and dangerous insinuation to prepare King and Parliament to reject the Presbyterie, as not giving so much to Magistrates in matters of Religion and Church government as is their due, and 'tis scandalous against Scotland and all the reformed Churches: but what's the maine •…nd of it, or what may be conceived the reason of your saying you give so much to the Magistrates power, and more then the Presbyterians, (see∣ing men of your Church principles were never guilty yet of giving too much Ecclesiasticall power to Magistrates: you are the first Independents, and this is the first time that ever publikely you have exprest your selves thus,) I judge you being Politicians (Politici Theologi) to flatter the Parliament at this time the better to work Page  156 your ends for a toleration, and to promote your Church-way you write thus:

'Tis observed by Learned men, that amongst the principall attempts and policies of the Remonstrants whereby they laboured to bring the Churches of the Netherlands into commotion, and to obtaine their own ends, this was a great one, the crying up the power of the civil Magistrate, both by writing of Bookes of their great power in Ecclesiasticals, and in their Ser∣mons every where, and their aspersing the orthodox Ministers and their lawfull meetings and Ecclesiasticall actions with the contrary, and amongst many other particulars of the great pow∣er they gave the Magistrates in Ecclesiasticals this was one, that they did ascribe to the Magistrate the ultimate and highest juris∣diction and power of giving judgement in Ecclesiasticall mat∣ters, reasoning, that unto the Magistrate alone immediately under Christ did belong the judgement when controversies of faith did arise in the Church; And therefore after the Arminians despaired of prevailing by the Ecclesiasticall Assemblies, they brought and removed their cause from the Ecclesiasticall cognizance to ano∣ther Court, by their policie and artifices, making use of the Au∣thoritie of one or two chiefe men in place to worke for them: And that this new-way might have some colour and that so much the more easily the favour of many Politicians, or at least a tole∣ration might be procured for these Arminian novelties, there was a booke set forth by Uttenbogardus, de Iure Supremi Ma∣gistratus in Ecclesiasticis; Many other of the Arminians also sung the same song, as Episcopius printed a Disputation de Iure Magistratus circa sacra, Barlaeus, Grotius, &c. And besides all these, there was a great number of books put forth in the vul∣gar and mother tongue of the power and authority of the Ma∣gistrates: And thus whilst the Magistrates let the Arminians alon•…, and did nothing against them, even till the Synod of Dort in the yeare 1618. they slattered them thus: But after the Synod of Dort had determined against their opinions, and that the Ma∣gistrates were agai•…t them, then they lifted up the heele and then they write books in a farre other stile, and in their Apologie, that power which before they had so liberally measu∣red out for them, they did not a little limit, and contract, and Page  157 offended as much in the defect, giving Magistrates too little, as before they had in the excesse, giving them too much:
For the full proofe of this I referre the Reader to learned aVoe∣tius select disputations concerning that question, penes quos sit po∣testas ecclesiastica (where he doth at large relate this and their o∣pinions about the Magistrates power, after the Synod of Dort:) and unto bVedelius de Episcopatu Constantini magni (who as all men know gives in that booke power enough to Magistrates in Ec∣clesiasticals) yet he layes down at large, that as the Anabaptists and Socinians following the Donatists, give too little to the Ma∣gistrate, so the Arminians did offend in the excesse. For before Page  158 the Synod of Dort they contended, that under the Orthodox Magistrate the Church had of it selfe no spirituall power. The Ministers of the Church did performe their office in the name of the Magistrate, so that the Magistrate, because he for other busi∣nesses could not preach, &c. he did preach by the Ministers; they gave the government of the Church to the Magistrates alone, they gave the calling of Ministers and their deposing to the Magistrate alone, with many other such, but af•…er the Synod they denie 'tis their right and office to oblige men by their authoritie to the de∣crees of Synods however agreeable to the word, or to use any coa∣ctive power in that case, &c. in which they take away as much from the Magistrate, as in other things they seemed to give: And it may be feared however these Apologists now to ingratiate themselves, and being left alone in their Church-way, say, they give more to the Magistrates then the Presbyteriall, and that they professe to submit, and to be most willing to have recourse to the Magistrates judgement and cognizance, and examination of Eccle∣siasticall causes, yet when they shall come once to be crossed, and the Parliament by the advise of the Assembly to settle the govern∣ment of the Church, and by their authoritie to bind them to the things agreeable to the word, we shall see then what they will say of the Magistrates power; there are too many speeches alreadie since the meeting of the Assembly (out of their feare how things may goe) which have fallen from many Independents, that prog∣nosticate they will doe by the Parliament as the Remonstrants did after the Synod of Dort by the States. 2. But whatever you say here, that you think you give more to the Magistrates then the prin∣ciples * of the Presbyterian Government will suffer them to yeeld, I doe much doubt it, and doe judge that in many things you give no more in Ecclesiasticals then the Presbyterians, and in others you give lesse, and they give more. M. Robinson in his Apologie saith of himselfe and his Church, that in the point of the civill Magi∣strate and his office, they hold altogether the same thing which the Belgicke Churches doe, and that to their Confession in this point, they do ex animo agree. Now the Belgick Churches are Presbyte∣rians, and your Church-way, & M. Robinsons differ not much, •…o that till you know what you give more to the civill Magistrate, then Page  159 M. Robinson and his Church doe, I cannot beleeve you, especially considering that M. Burroughes one of you in his Lectures upon Hosea, speaking of the power of Magistrates in Church affaires, * gives no more to them then the rigidest Presbyterians, namely, That the King is supreame governour to governe in a civill way by civill Lawes, so as to s•… Christ not dishonoured, so as to keepe out Idolatry, to protect the Church, to punish enormitios that are there, to defind it from enemies: In that sense he is said to be the head, but that title of supreame Governour being un∣derstood in a civill way is more proper. Now it were easie out of Beza, Calvin, Zanchius, and many Presbyterians to show more power given to Kings by them in matters of Religion, then by M. Burroughes there, so that I have more reason to judge of your principles by what M. Burroughes writes particularly, and by way of answering doubts of conscience, then from a Narrrati∣on in generall, and from we thinke more then the principles of Presbyteriall Government will suffer them to yeeld. In other things you give not so much to the Magistrates, as the Presbyterians.

First, whereas the a Presbyterians doe acknowledge the Pro∣testant Prince and Magistrate, an eminent member of the Church, and in their greatest Assemblies and Councels give him an emi∣nent place and power, you according to your principles doe not owne him for a member of the Church, neither shall his children be admitted to Baptisme, nor he to the ordinances, though a Protestant and Orthodoxe, unlesse you account him a visible Saint, &c. neither doe you give him so much power or vote, no not in a particular Church in any Church matters of censures, ad∣missions, election of officers, &c. as you doe give to one of your serving men, and the supreme Magistrate and his children though brought up, and professing the true Religion, may be and will be kept from the Sacraments all their dayes.

2. The Presbyterians give to the Magistrate a coercive and co∣active power, to suppresse heresies, schisme, to correct troublers and unruly persons in the Church, to tie and bind men by their authoritie to the decrees of Synods made according to the word of God, which power as b Voetius showes, only the Remon∣strants with the Libertines did not admit, but all the Presbyteri∣ans Page  160 doe reject such opinions, that the Magistrate could not by his * authoritie bind and compell men to observe the decrees of Synods, conformable to the word of God c, now doe you allow the Magi∣strates such a power? By your pleading for tolerations of Religion, and for liberty of conscience, and that conscience is not to be tied, and by your speaking against impositions of things lawfull and a∣greeable to the word, as set formes of prayer, decreed by Synods and such like, 'tis very suspitious you allow not such a power to Magistrates, and your good friend d M. S. in his answer to the ob∣servations and considerations upon your Apologeticall Narration pleading your cause denies, and pleads against this coercive pow∣er of the Magistrate.

3. The Presbyterians give a great deale of power to the su∣preme Christian Magistrate in the Reformation of Religion, and in repairing and building the house of God, as might be showne out of Calvin, Zanchius, Peter Martyr, &c. but whether the Independents give as much, when they allow private men to ga∣ther and make Churches and Ministers, to do such publike workes, and that without leave, nay against the mind and laws of the su∣preame Magistrate, I question: There is a Tractate in my hands about a Church, that goes under the name of one of you, wherein civill Magistrates are cut off, and Ministers too from having any power to make Churches, and

the immediate Independent power from Christ is given to the Saints onely, to gather and combine themselves in such an Assembly without expecting warrant from any Governours what soever upon earth: Saints as Saints have a right and full power to cast themselves into the fellowship without asking the consent of Governours and civill Magistrates, who have no power in the marriage of their peo∣ple, nor should have, it being an act of naturall civill right, and as Magistrates have no power over Family-government to ap∣point whom I shall admit into my Family, &c. much lesse have they power over Christs Family; this union of a Church is a spirituall right which is transcendently out of the sphere of the Magistrates authoritie, and the Apostles taught the Saints to doe it without asking leave of the Magistrates, yea not to for sake it though the Magistrates forbad it,
Heb. 10. 25.
Now Page  161 I beleeve you cannot show me any principle in Presbyteriall Go∣vernment, nor quote me the judgement of any Presbyterian that cuts short the power of the Orthodox Protestant Magistrate about Congregations and Assemblies as this doth.

4. The Presbyterians doe grant the Magistrate a power about the publick exercise of the Ministerie, that 'tis so farre subject to the direction of the Magistrate, that without his approbative au∣thoritie or confirming authoritie, or his toleration of it, it ought not by the Church to be publikely begun in his territories nor pra∣ctised. *Apollonius of Zeland who writ an answer to Vedellius by the command of the Wa•…achrian Classis, was a great Presby∣terian; and in that answer must needs show it, upon occasion of Vedelius giving so much to the Magistrate in Ecclesiasticall things, yet he grants the Magistrate this power about the exercise of the Ministerie. Now whether your principles allow this to the Magi∣strate, let your practises speake about your making Ministers and exercising of it as you doe.

5. The Presbyterians grant to the Magistrates a power in pri∣vate meetings as well as in publicke Churches, over exercises there, as well as those in the publick places: So aVoetius, We reject that noveltie of the Remonstrants that the Magistrate hath no power in private meetings, but onely in publike Tem∣ples: Now whether you allow the Magistrates a power concer∣ning your private meetings, or onely over the publike meetings, or whether you doe not with the Arminians make the ground of this power in the Magistrate, the granting of a publike mee∣ting-place, I desire to be satisfied from you. But by all this the Reader may see in these particulars you doe not give more pow∣er to the Magistrate; for the Presbyterians give what you give, and not onely so, but they give that which you denie, and so give more then you: But Brethren wherein and in what doe you give more to the Magistrates power then the Presbyterians? Had you ex∣prest, wherein the Presbyterians give too little to the Magistrates power, and in what their principles are defective, and wherein you give more, you had dealt fairely and ingeniously, and a man might have knowne where to have had you, and how to have an∣swered you, but to accuse thus in the generall, and not to signifie Page  162 the crime is not just; but as you do throughout your Apologie under the figge-leaves of darke, doubtfull, generall speeches, cover your opinions, least your nakednesse should appeare, so in this place: but not to let you goe away thus, but that I may drive you out of your holes and thickets and divest you of your coverings, and that I may a little take off the Odium and suspition that Presbyteriall Government may lie under amongst many who know not their principles by reason of this passage of yours, (The Magistrates power to which we give as much, and (as we thinke) more then the principles of the Presbyteriall government will suffer them to yeeld) I will propound some questions to you to draw out what you hold about the power of the Magistrate in Ecclesiasticall things, and to give some further light for the present of the Pres∣byterian principles concerning the power of Magistrates (refer∣ving the particular laying downe what the Presbyterians give to the Magistrate in Ecclesiasticall things and what not, till my Re∣joynder shall come out to your Replie.)

1. Whether the power of the Magistrate about Ecclesiasticall things be a power extrinsecall, objective, coercive, indirect, me∣diate, accidentall and consequent, or spirituall intrinsecall, for∣mall, proper and antecedent: Now concerning the first, the Pres∣byterians give as much to the Magistrate as you, nay more, as hath been partly shewed alreadie: but for the other the spirituall, in∣trinsecall, formall, &c. If you ascribe that to the Magistrate, as I thinke you doe not, nor your principles do not yeeld it; unlesse according to your second great principle laid downe in the 10. and 11. page, you are since the Assembly to please the Parliament the more (as you may imagine come off from your former judgement and practise.) I doe referre you for satisfaction to the three most learned, select Disputations of aVoetius and unto bWa•…us excel∣lent answer to the tractate of Uttengobardus (so strong that the Authour could never reply againe, though in a booke published he promised to doe it,) and unto cApollonius learned answer to Ve∣delius Dissertation.

2. I aske of you whether the civill power doth containe the Ecclesiasticall formally and eminently, so as that power can give and produce the other? or whether there is an intrinsecall depen∣dance Page  163 of the Ecclesiasticall upon the Politicall in their nature, forme, and exercise of them? or whether there doth not reside in the Church all Ecclesiasticall power absolutely necessarie to the building up of the Kingdome of Christ, and salvation of men, e∣ven when the Magistrate is not of the Church?

3. I aske of you whether in writing this passage of your Apo∣logie you considered and remembred all those differences and di∣stinctions given by so many excellent Divines, as Iunius, Zan∣chius, Amesius, &c. concerning those two powers, Civill and Ecclesiasticall, and their Administration, and in particular amongst the rest, that difference taken from their d matter, and the subject, wherein they make the subject of politicall administration to be humane things and matters, but of Ecclesiasticall to be divine and sacred, and if so, whether doe not Presbyterians according to those differences and distinctions (which distinctions are acknow∣ledged also by your selves, as by M. Robinson and by some of you in your printed bookes (as I remember) give the Magistrate that power in Ecclesiasticals which is given him in the word of God.

4. Considering all Ecclesiasticall power and right is common∣ly by Divines reduced to a three-fold head, namely potestas〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉, which of these powers doe you give more to the Magistrates then the Presbyterians, or in all of them doe you give more, or doe you not? For the present that power you seem to give the Magistrate, and intimate it that you give more then the Pres•…eriall principles allow (as may be gathered from the following words in p. 19. & from those words in p. 17. The Ma∣gistrates interposing a power of an other nature, unto which we up∣on his particular coguizance and examination of such causes profes ever to submit, and also to be most willing to have recourse unto) must fall under the last head of the power of judging and determi∣ning in matters Ecclesiastical, and that upon complaints and appeals; now the Presbyterians in that give the Magistrate a power about the use and abuse of Ecclesiasticall discipline and Ecclesiasticall Causes and businesses, yea and definitive to, namely, a politicall, objective, consequent power, which may be diversly exercised, both ordinarily and extraordinarily in a Church constituted and in Page  164 a good estate, and in a Church fallen and corrupted; Voetius in his disputations upon that question: In whose hands the Ecclesiasticall*power is (a great Presbyterian in that question) grants and gives to the Magistrate a publick judiciall power of judging, not one∣ly with the judgement of knowledge, but definitive in causes and matters Ecclesiasticall, which judgement is consequent, not an∣tecedent, because the ultimate disquisition is not in that, whe∣ther that be true, but whether they will by publicke Authoritie maintaine and execute that. So * Apollonius in his Answer to Vedelius where he strongly pleads for the Presbyterians in that point of Ecclesiasticall power, yet gives much to the Magistrate ordinarily in a Church constituted and well reformed in the point of this part of power, and extraordinarily in the state of a Church corrupted, and greatly disordered, when the doctrine is corrup∣ted, and the Sacraments contaminated with idolatrous rites, and discipline turned into tyrannie, and when the Ministerie and all Ecclesiasticall meetings both inferiour and superiour conspire to oppresse the truth of God, and to establish tyrannie in the Church, in such cases the Magistrate may do many things besides the ordinary way: now let me entreate you to consult the books of the Pres∣byterians, and especially Apollonius answer to Vedelius of the severall particulars of the power of Magistrates about the use and abuse of discipline in a constituted Church, besides the power gi∣ven them in extraordinarie cases, and in your Reply to this An∣swer satisfie me what you give more. But let me tell you whate∣ver power you five may have found out for the Magistrate, which the principles of Presbyteriall government will not suffer them to yeeld (some new power may be like that devise of Non-commu∣nion of Churches, and Protestation to all Churches that they may doe the like) yet your Churches may not grant it, and so the Ma∣gistrates shall be never the nearer; the power you give the Magi∣strate in the 17. and 19. pag. is not yeelded by many of your own Churches whereof you are Ministers; A Gentleman, a prime member of one of your Churches immediately after the comming forth of your Apologeticall Narration disclaimed and renounced that power of the Magistrate exprest by you, in the hearing of a Minister, a member of the Assembly, who related it to me. But Page  165 what is it wherein you give more to the Magistrates, sure there is something you meane and aime at in it, if we could find it out; suffer me to guesse at it, and you shall see though you doe not formally expresse so much, yet I have some reason to judge so: First, Doe you not meane in this phrase, the Magistrates power, to which we give as much, and as we thinke more then the principles of Pres∣byteriall government will suffer them to yeeld, that your Church∣way consisting all of particular Congregations, and not growing into great bodies by combinations and Synods, the Magistrates power is greater over you, in that he may easily deale with you, and dissolve you at pleasure; but for a power to grow into so great a body, an Ecclesiasticall power as large as the civill, so combined, this may be formidable and dangerous to the State, and too great for the Magistrate hereafter to rectifie; this hath been by an a∣ctive Independent upon discourse of these points suggested to me, and how farre one of you hath reasoned thus in the hearing of many, against Presbyteriall government, and for Congregationall, you can remember: Or secondly, Doe you understand by this phrase, that when heresies, schismes or strange opinions are broacht in your Churches, and you cannot tell what to doe with them, nor how to suppresse them, nor how to have the persons censured, being so powerfull in particular Congregations whereof they are members, in such a case you give the civill Magistrate a power to question them for these heresies, schismes, and to imprison, banish, &c. if they doe not revoke them; New-England practising the way of Independencie, and not having Classes, Synods, that have autho∣ritative power to call to account and censure such persons, were necessitated to make use of the Magistrates, and to give the more to them, a power of questioning for doctrines, and judging of er∣rors; and punishing with imprisonment, banishment, and they found out a prety fine destinction to deceive themselves with, and to salve the contrariety of this practise to some other principles, that the Magistrate questioned and punished for these opinions and errors (which now for want of Ecclesiasticall discipline and censure they knew not what to doe with) not as heresies and such opinions, but as breaches of the civill peace, and disturbances to the Common-wealth, (which distinction if the Parliament would Page  166 have learned from you, and proceeded upon, they might long agoe have put downe all your Churches and Congregations, and justly have dealt with you, as the Magistrates in New-England did with Mr Williams and the Antinomians, Familists and Anabap∣tists there, and yet have said they punished you not for your con∣sciences, nor because of such opinions, but because your opinions, ways and practises were an occasion of much hurt to the Com∣mon-wealth, a breach of civill peace, a great cause of many people sitting so loose from the Parliament, a great hinderance to the Reformation, and a ground of much distraction to the publike, and of strengthening the enemy,) whereas the Presbyterians give the power in cases of heresies, errors, &c. that are not remedied in the particular Congregation, to Classes, Synods, Assemblies, to que∣stion, convince, judge of, censure and to apply spirituall remedies proper to spirituall diseases, which I am confident of, had such been in New-England in the Presbyteriall way, there had never beene so many imprisoned, banished for errors, nor the Magistrates put upon that distinction. Or thirdly, Is it that you doe give a power to the Magistrate in Ecclesiasticall things of the ultimate determination of matters purely Ecclesiasticall (which the Presbyterians principles doe not) as now in mat∣ters of doctrine, and in matters of scandall, and in matters of censures, excommunication, deposition, &c. which are brought before and have past in Ecclesiasticall Assemblies, to appeale from them to the civill Magistrate, and to carry causes from thence to civill Courts, to repeale and revoke them; Your words and passages about the Magistrates power imply this, and I find that many quick sighted men as the Walachrian classis, nay a whole Synod after them in their late Letters to the Assembly apprehend you so, and therefore I may upon good grounds judge, besides the two former, that you aime at this third, in saying you give more to the Magistrates power then the Presbyterians: Concerning which question, it being a point that I have not much studied, I shall not declare my judgement in it; But in the Church of Israel it seemes that in the things of Jehovah the last judgement did belong to the chiefe Ecclesiasticall Assembly which sate at Ierusalem, Deut. 17. 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13 verses, as Iunius in his Analisis illustrates that Page  167 place, and the arguments brought by Apollonius in this point, * with his answers to Vedelius arguments have a great deale of strength in them, and I entreate you in your Reply, if you will formally owne the giving of this power to the Magistrate, that you will answer that second chapter of Apollonius.

But to draw toward a conclusion of the comparison of the effe∣ctualnesse between the two wayes, supposing all you say of Sub∣mission, Non-communion, Protestation were true, as also that you did give more to the Magistrate then the Presbyterian, and that in spirituall matters, in cases of difference, injuries, &c. you would from the Church have recourse to the Magistrate and submit to his judgement, and that you did allow and would stand to the Magistrates assisting and backing the sentence of non-communion against Churches miscarrying according to the nature of the crime, as they judge meet; (notwithstanding you have determined it, that without all controversie your way of Church proceeding will be every way as effectuall as the other can be supposed to be,) yet I must tell you, it falls farre short of the Presbyterian way, both in preventing and remedying sins, errors, offences, and in pro∣moting knowledge, godlinesse and peace in the Churches; For suppose non-communion of Churches were a way of Christ and a remedie (the contrary to which I have at large showne,) yet you must confesse 'tis but a lower remedy, not an authoritative, power∣erfull, dreadfull remedie and meanes like that of excommunica∣tion, which is the highest and greatest censure in the Church, the Churches thunderbolt, and Anathema, a remedy and last meanes, which recovers a sinner when all others will not, as admonition, suspension, deposition, and so when non-communion and Prote∣station will not: In the Scriptures are laid downe many eminent fruits and effects of excommunication in the people of God, which are not of any censure else, and I might fill a book with the ends, benefits and fruits of this censure laid down by Divines in their Tractates and common places of Ecclesiasticall discipline and ex∣communication, but I will name only that of the Professors of Leyden: *

Excommunication is the last remedie and the shar∣pest for the subduing of the flesh in a man, and for the quickning of the spirit: and the most efficacious example least the sound Page  168 part should be corrupted: But against them, who persevere in their contumacie and impenitencie 'tis the only meanes to free the house of God of leaven, and the Church of Christ from scandals; and so to vindicate the Word and Sacraments from prophanation, and the Name of God from the blaspheming of them without.
Now pray shew us in the Scripture any where, the excellent fruits, benefits, ends of non-communion of Churches and Protestation against them, as we can of excommunication in 1 Cor. 5. 5. 2 Cor. 2. 6, 7, 8, 9, 10. 2 Thess. 3. 14. 1 Tim. 1. 20. And then for that other remedie of the Magistrates power added to non-communion, to eeke out wherein non-communion may be defective to excommunication, and for that purpose you say you give more to the Magistrates power, that so what you faile and come short in Ecclesiasticall power, you may make it up in giving more civill power in Ecclesiasticall causes, the result of which must needs be this, that though in your Church-way, you have not so much Ecclesiasticall authoritative power for miscarriages, and for reducing Churches that fall into heresie and schisme, yet you give more civill power, and allow the Magistrate more to interpose for helping and reducing, so that lesse Ecclesiasticall power and authority with a large civill power to back it, will be every way as effectuall as much Ecclesiasticall authority, with a small civill power: But of this I shall shew you your mistake, because the question is of Church matters, and matters of conscience and the inward man, and of the Kingdom of Christ: Now the remedies and meanes appointed for these are spirituall and Ecclesiasticall; namely spirituall punishments: Christ saith my Kingdom is not of this world; and the Apostle, 2 Cor. 10. 3, 4, 5. The weapons of our warfare are not carnall but mighty through God to the pul∣ling downe of strong holds, by which the spirit and the inward man, even every thought is subjected to the obedience of Christ, spirituall remedies and meanes must be used in the Kingdome of Christ, and by them Christ doth his worke, and hence in Eccle∣siasticall discipline, and those scandalls in the Church (which is the point in hand) punishments in the body or in the purse, &c. which can be by the power of the Magistrate, have no place at all; * neither can such meanes which are of a different kind from the Page  169 spirituall Kingdome of Christ, produce those effects which belong * to that heavenly Kingdome: 'Tis out of the sphere of the activity of the politicall Magistrate to subdue the inward man, or to inflict spirituall punishment upon the consciences: And there is nothing more common in the writings of the most learned and orthodox Divines, then to shew that the civill power and government of the Magistrate, and the Ecclesiasticall government of the Church are toto genere disjoyned, and thereupon the power of the Ma∣gistrate by which he deales with the corrupt manners and disor∣ders of his people, is in the nature and specificall reason distinct from Ecclesiasticall discipline. For the power of the Magistrate, by which he punishes sin, doth not subserve to the Kingdome of Christ the Mediator, that he may apply efficaciously to the elect 〈 in non-Latin alphabet 〉 of the Propheticall and Priestly office of Christ; he doth not affect the inward man and conscience with spirituall pu∣nishment, neither is this instituted of God and sanctified as the meanes for the destruction of the flesh, that the spirit may be saved in the day of Christ. Hence also by Divines, the manifold diffe∣rence between the censure of excommunication and the punish∣ment of the Magistrate is observed, *Zanchius doth accurately shew the difference between them, The cause of excommunica∣tion is not the punishment of sinne, but the salvation of the sinner, and the edification of the Church, and the glory of God: but the scope of the civill Magistrate and his office, is that he should pu∣nish the sinne it selfe, neither d•…th it looke to the salvation or damnation of the offender: whereupon although the sinner re∣pent, yet he doth not spare, but punisheth according to his office: But the Church according to Christs doctrine doth not strike with the spirituall sword, unlesse he be impenitent, neither is this done for death but for salvation, therefore where any one rep•…nts, the Church receives him: so that in substituting the Magistrates power in defect of excommunication, and giving a great deale more civill power for want of spirituall to make it as availe∣able for those spirituall ends of the Church, is to leave the proper remedies and meanes, and to take up others; and I would desire you to answer me, whether the proper remedies and meanes ap∣pointed for such ends and uses, or the improper remedies, nay re∣medies Page  170 appointed and intended mainly for other ends, be most ef∣fectuall and powerfull to accomplish those ends? as also whether a part of a proper remedy being assisted and backt with a great pro∣portion of a remedy of another nature and kind, can be as effectuall as the whole remedy and meanes? as for instance, whether a little grace assisted by civility and fairenesse of nature, will doe as much to overcome lusts and destroy the flesh, as the highest degrees of grace that Saints may attaine unto? and whether a little spirituall knowledge, seconded with a great deale of common and outward * knowledge, is as availeable for a Christian conversation as great measures of spirituall knowledge, though a man have but a little knowledge in Philosophy, Physick, Law? &c. But more particu∣larly to let you see, that your recourse unto the Magistrate and the Magistrates assisting and backing the sentence of non-com∣munion is not comparable to that of excommunication and Pres∣byteriall government; I shall commend to your consideration these eight following particulars;

First, There may be many sins and errors which the Christian Magistrate meddles not with, are not matters of his cognisance, if you would have recourse to him, or if the sentence of non-com∣munion be pronounced against a Church because of impenitencie in them, he hath nothing to doe to assist and back it; there are no laws for such things, which yet being spirituall evills and preju∣diciall to the souls of men, should be dealt with to recover men out of them: Learned Zanchius in his differences that he gives be∣tween the censure of excommunication and the Magistrates cen∣sure, observes this for a speciall one:

There are many wicked∣nesses against which the Magistrate truly Christian doth not use to proceed; neither is bound by his Laws; as for instance, private fallings out, hatreds, &c, as also many evill manners both domesticall and publike, which doe not disturbe the publike peace or the publike good, but the Church ought not to bare these, but to correct them according to Christs institution;
Now what will you doe in this case, here your recourse of submis∣sion to the Magistrate, with the Magistrates backing non-commu∣nion faile you and conduce nothing at all.

Secondly; In case the Magistrates be of those Churches and Page  171 chiefe in those sins, and miscarriages for which non-commu∣nion is denounced against those Churches (as may easily fall out) how will you have the sentence of non-communion now backed and assisted? both those Churches and the Magistrates members of them, shall have nothing to back non-communion, to make it equi∣valent to excommunication; nay I aske of you, who bring in more of the Magistrates power to supply the want of excommunica∣tion, where the particular Church will not, and the Classes may not, what shall be done with the Magistrates offending, what meanes hath God left for the recovery of them? you cannot imagine they will make use of their power against themselves, now if they may not have spirituall remedies and censure, as of excommunica∣tion, this principle of the Magistrates power falls short here, where∣as in Presbyteriall government ther's a remedie and redresse for all, and certainly Gods ways of governing his Church provides for all, whereas yours falls short.

3. What if upon the sentence of non-communion denounced against a Church or Churches, the Magistrate judge otherwise, and hold the sentence of non-communion unjust and will not assist it, (which may ordinarily fall out) what effectuall meanes hath the offending Church of being reduced now by vertue of the Magi∣strates power? and what must be done in this case? May the Ma∣gistrate revoke that sentence of the Church, or Churches offended, and declare it null, and cause the Churches who passed the sentence to recall it, and to continue their communion? and suppose those Churches will not revoke it but stand to their act, what shall be done in this case? who must judge now between these Churches and the Magistrate? may the Magistrate now by his power which you give him in Ecclesiasticals, instead of backing the sentence of non-communion against a Church miscarrying (as the Church supposed) now turne his power against the Church for denoun∣cing the sentence of non-communion uojustly (as the Magistrate judgeth) and not only declare it void, but punish this Church or Churches for denouncing such a sentence of non-communion, and declaring and protesting to all other Churches that they may doe the like? and what if all the Churches protested to, will continue to renounce communion with the Church censured with the sen∣tence Page  172 of non-communion, notwithstanding the Magistrates refusing to assist that sentence, nay though he declare it void? or what if upon the Magistrates declaration, some of the Churches give the righ-hand of fellowship againe, but others will not, what must the Magistrate, or the Churches doe in these cases, and the like? consider well of it, whether this effectuall way of yours, the Ma∣gistrates assisting and backing the sentence of non-communion, instead of a powerfull meanes to relieve injured persons, or reduce Churches, will not prove a meanes of great differences and divi∣sions, as well between the Churches and the Magistrate, as between the Churches themselves.

4. Must the Magistrate assist and back the sentence of non-com∣munion against the Church or Churches offending and persisting therein, upon the comming of it to him? and so punish it according to the nature of the crime as he judges meet, without first hearing what the Church can say for it selfe, or must he first heare them both? and in case more Churches mutually renounce commu∣nion with one another, and protest against each other, with other particulars instanced in about the remedie of non-communion un∣der the fourth generall head, what shall he doe in these cases, must he heare all?

5. What Magistrate or Magistrates doe you meane, to whom in Ecclesiasticall causes you will have recourse unto, and that must assist and back the sentence of non-communion? Doe you meane the supreame and chiefe Magistrate, the highest powers only, or all inferiour Magistrates in their severall stations and divisions where these things fall out, as Majors of Cities and Townes, Justices of Peace and such Magistrates? or doe you meane the Christian Pro∣testant Magistrate, or Magistrates, though Heathens, Popish, Ar∣rians? or doe you meane by the Magistrates power that there shall be Courts of civill Judicature erected in every division of the Counties, to heare the differences that fall out between Churches offended one with another? &c. or what doe you meane? If you understand the supreame Magistrate only and the highest pow∣ers, can they alwayes heare or attend unto, through the ma∣ny great businesses of State affaires, all the differences, scan∣dals, schismes, that both in particular Churches, and betweene Page  173 Churches will fall out in a Kingdome or Nation in this way of non-communion and protestation against one another? (especially in Independent Churches, where people make Churches and Mi∣nisters in that way they doe, and have no fixed rules nor certaine way) I warrant the supreame Magistrate, and higher Powers, Kings and Parliaments shall have something to doe to back the sentence of non-communion, and to heare all causes and differences: But if you understand the inferiors also, Majors, Bailiffs, &c. I represent it to you, what fit judges most of them are to judge and determine of such difficult Ecclesiasticall causes in heresies, schismes, scandals, &c. which fall out amongst the Ministers of Churches, and be∣tween Churches themselves: Againe, If you understand the Ma∣gistrate indefinitely and obsolutely, any Magistrate, though Hea∣then, Popish, Arrian, as Mr Robinson doth in his Apologie; and I find it in your manuscripts and principles, that you take it so; judge then in your selves if the Church hath not remedies among them∣selves; how fit are they who understand not Christian religion, nor the doctrines according to godlinesse, to judge of the great dif∣ferences between Churches, and to assist the sentence of non-com∣munion against Churches? if the Apostle Paul reproved the Co∣rinthians so in 1 Cor. 6, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7. for cariying matters from the Church (even the smallest matters, the things that pertained to this life) unto unbeleevers, how would he blame the carrying of things spirituall and Ecclesiasticall unto Heathen from the Mi∣nisters of the Church: or doe you understand, that there shall be Courts of civill Judicature to appeale unto, &c. then there must be certaine Laws and rules agreed upon, as for particular Churches, so between the Churches, according to which they must proceed to back the sentence of non-communion and protestation, &c. (which yet you practise not.) Now the many inconvenien∣ces that would come of such Courts you may easily fore-see, so that this is not like to be an effectuall remedy.

6. What shall be done in case there be no Magistrates at all, to take any notice, in matters of Religion and Church government, but leave Churches to themselves in that; as it was with you in Holland, there were no Magistrates medled with the government and order of your Churches, nor none to have recourse unto, or to Page  174 backe the sentence of Non-communion, you being in a place and State where no outward violence or any other externall au∣thoritie, either civill or Ecclesiasticall would have enforced you, what shall in this case supply the defect of Excommunication, and of an Ecclesiasticall authoritative power? Hath not the wisdome of Christ provided remedies in the Church for all the internall necessities of the Church, and constituted it a perfect bodie with∣in it selfe?

7. Whether can it be rationally and probably thought that in an ordinary way the having recourse unto the Magistrate though orthodox, and the submitting to his particular cognizance and ex∣amination of such causes, with his backing the sentence of Non∣communion in Ecclesiasticall causes, in cases of sinnes, errours, differences that arise in Churches, should be as effectuall and suf∣ficient a remedie as the way of Classes and Synods? and that the Magistrates interposing their authoritie and power of another na∣ture will be as good as the Authoritative Presbyteriall Governe∣ment in all the subordinations and proceedings of it: Now that 'tis not probable it should be, or that it should serve in stead of Sy∣nods and Classes, take these probable and rationall grounds. 1. All wanton wits and erroneous spirits, all your Sectaries and Novelists are rather for this way then for Synods and Classes, (though most of them would have neither to meddle at all in mat∣ters of Religion, as the Socinians, Anabaptists, &c.) Thus the Arminians were against Classes and Synods, and all for the power of Magistrates, and it was their chiefe Engine by which in those sad daies of the Netherlands, they encreased their partie, and came to such a height. Sectaries hope that if they can decline the Ecclesiasticall Assemblies, they sha'l what by flatterie, and what by delay (through other great businesses of State) and what by sophismes and fallacies, and what from principles of po∣licie in many States-men, and what by friends, &c. effect that which they have no hopes at all by Ecclesiasticall Assemblies, they know the Presbyteries and Synods are able to discover their falla∣cies, answer their arguments, will mind those businesses wholly, are not to be wrought upon by State principles, &c. Now if in experience and reason, this way were as powerfull to reduce a Page  175 Church or Churches from schisme and heresie, they would never be so much for this way rather then Presbyterie. 2. Naturall reason dictates that they are best able and fittest to judge and re∣solve of things, who doe above others give themselves to the stu∣die and profession of those things, as Physitians can best judge of wholesome meats, and diseases, and Lawyers of the lawes and differences arising in them, a Counsell of Warre of difficult ca∣ses and points in warre; And therefore in things that belong to the spirituall good of the soule and the Church, the Ministers of the Church are most likely to resolve and to remedie things: Can it ordinarily be expected that the Magistrate should in matter of doctrine and opinion, in matters of schisme, and in matters of worthinesse and abilities of Ministers, and in many cases that arise, be able to judge and determine matters, as the Ministers and Pa∣stours of the Church? 3. Those who have most time and lei∣sure to attend a worke and businesse, to sift into it, to heare all that can be said, and can mind it, they being able and understan∣ding are likeliest to determine best, and bring things to a good end: we see in experience that able and honest men through multitudes of businesse, delay long, slubber over businesses, and cannot doe things so effectually as they ought, and seldome prove good Arbitratours in difficult, intricate cases: Now Magi∣strates through many great and necessarie businesses of State, ha∣ving large dominions, cannot so well attend as the Classes and Sy∣nods to heare and examine all the differences, scandals, schismes, &c. that doe and may arise both in Churches, and betweene Churches (especially as would fall out in the Independent way, and particularly in this way of submission, Non-communion and mutuall Protestation) but matters would be delayed and negle∣cted, or escape wholly, or be hudled up. 4. To these I might adde as followes, that the Magistrate through his just greatnesse would not know the spirits and dispositions of Ministers & people, nor of other matters so well, as the Ministers who live among them, and converse with one another frequently, neither would there be that easinesse of accesse to the Magistrates and great persons, as to their Ministers and Pastours, with other such like.

8. But in Ecclesiasticall matters and differences, upon the Page  176 Magistrates interposing his power, what is it you will sub∣mit unto? and what will you allow him to doe? And what is that power you will give him in backing the sentence of Non∣communion upon his judgement of the cause; and how farre and in what will you obey him, that so we may understand how this Civill power is intended by you for a remedie and helpe in Chur∣ches and betweene Churches? For instance will you submit not to gather Churches, nor set up Assemblies witho•…•…is leave, and upon complaints of the many mischiefes and differences occasio∣ned thereupon, will you upon his hearing both sides, and judging that those who are gathered shall be dissolved, dissolve them and not meet in those wayes any more? Will you upon some mem∣bers complaining to the Magistrate of some Minister or Ministers in their Church, for preaching erroneous and unprofitable do∣ctrine, meere novelties, subtilties, and the Magistrate upon particular cognizance and examination of such causes, judging that he shall preach no more, will the Minister forbeare upon it? or the Church to heare him in case the Minister would not yeeld? will the Church now goe chuse a new and Orthodox Mi∣nister upon it? or in case a member or more be unjustly excom∣municated, and they complaine to the Magistrate, who calling the Church to account, and hearing both sides, shall judge on the Complaiants side, and now order the Church to absolve him, and order them to confesse their sinne publikely, and appoint them to keepe a day of humiliation for it, and order them to give him such a summe of mony for the wrong, trouble, and losse of his time in following the businesse against them, will the Church now submit to doe all this yea or no? What say you to these and the like cases? Now I aske you this in the close, because you pretend a great deale of submission to the Magistrate, and to give him much power (which though you did grant, yet for the many rea∣sons and grounds alreadie specified, this would not countervaile the way of the Presbyterians in their spirituall censures by Presby∣ters and Synods) whether you clearely and plainly allow this to the Magistrate? because I finde in Manuscripts, and heare that in Sermons by men of your Church-way, the contrarie is publikely preacht and held, as for example in that Treatise about a Church, Page  177 which goes under one of your names, there is this passage, with more to that purpose.

The Saints need not expect their power or leave for to gather together, so as without it such a combi∣nation is unlawfull, nor should they forbeare it out of conscience of the Magistrates prohibition, indeed if the Magistrate should force or compell them to forbeare or persecute them, they may forbeare actuall assembling, (Act. 8. 1.) not because the Ma∣gistrate forbids it, but in mercie to themselves: And indeed about a Church Christian Magistrates have no more power then Heathen Magistrates had:
So that this is spoken by you where Magistrates are Christian, and where Churches are alrea∣dy setled: And adde to this that M. S. in his Reply in defence of your Apologie is against coercive and coactive power in matters of Religion, and that you all hold a toleration, and that the Ma∣gistrates ought not to hinder men, or punish them for the matter of their consciences, how then notwithstanding all your discourse of the power of the Magistrate, which added to Non-commu∣nion will be an effectuall meanes to releeve persons injured, to re∣duce Churches and persons going in schisme and errours, shall persons injured be remedied or Churches and persons reduced? For suppose the persons or Churches that now fall into such er∣rours and schismes will pretend, nay 'tis so really, that they in their conscience hold errours for truths, and thereupon with-draw from such Churches to others, nay suppose those who now receive these new truths should cast out of their fellowship, and excom∣municate some for holding otherwise, as for instance a Church fal∣ling into Antinomianisme should censure some of their members that remain orthodox for legal Christians, and for being enemies to free-grace, and should judge themselves bound to doe so in these and such like cases, what remedie is there for miscarrying Chur∣ches by all the power of the Magistrate you pretend to give to him? But this is brought in here by you, and given to him, to put of that strong argument against your way, and that you may have something for present to blind the eyes, and stop the mouths of many that looke no further, that it may serve your turne at such a straight, whereas upon other principles you denie the Magi∣strate this when it shall come to be a matter of conscience: And Page  178 now by all the severall particulars under this fifth head, the under∣standing Reader may observe that not only in many respects your non-Communion and Magistrates power are not a remedie com∣parable to the Presbyterian way, not proper, nor to the nature of the offences and things in question, a way in stead of bringing things to an end, redressing and mending matters amisse, that will be but the beginning of more strife and making more diffe∣rences and evils then either it sindes, or can heale, the mother and nurse of Confusions, Disorders, and endlesse contentions; but al∣so that all the power here pretended to be given to the Magistrate upon examination is no such matter nor will not amount to make good the ends propounded; whereas the Presbyteriall Govern∣ment here scandalized, as either wholly inconsistent with this forme of Civill Government, or else not giving it its due, will be found by its principles not only to have powerfull spirituall reme∣dies for all spirituall evils of the Church, but will be found in ma∣ny respects to make use of, and to give honour and power to the Civill Magistrate as a nursing Father from first to last, even in the ordinary way of the Order and Government of the Church be∣yond you, besides what they give more in extraordinary cases, in a Church miserably corrupted, disordered, &c. Of which the Rea∣der may read at large in Apollonius (who was a great Presbyteri∣an, cap. 2.) And so learned *Zanchius in his Tractate de Magistra∣tis, shewes 'tis in the power of the Magistrate not to suffer Here∣tickes nor erroneous persons to preach, and he gives him coactive punitive power to cut them off. Beza a great Presbyterian, in his Epistles and other writings, in matters of Religion doth not ex∣clude the Magistrate, but gives him that power in some things which you deny: but besides that power they give the Magistrate, they stand for, as needfull in the Church, Classes and Synods for the Government of it:
Zanchy shewes that discipline cannot*take place, where the Ministers never meet together, the me•…∣ting of Ministers and Ecclesiasticall Synods we judge most ne∣cessary; As no Politie, Common-wealth or Kingdome can con∣sist without their meetings, Senates and Councels; so there is need of Synods for the governing of the Church and for the pre∣venting of her•…fies:
In a word all things are loose in indepen∣dent Page  179 Government, every one is left, and may take liberty without controule, to doe what is good in their owne eyes, if they like not any Church whereof they are members, they may goe to another, nay, a few in a Church disliking that Church may goe make a Church themselves, and make Ministers, and hold what they will, as Mr Sympson did with some few more, and since some have rent from Mr Sympsons Church as he from Mr Bridge. The rules they goe by are loose, nothing being fixed nor certaine among them, and there can be no setlednesse of mind, nor consistence of Principles, in that way simple and well meaning people according to their Principles must be drawn till they come to that, to hold that there are no true Churches, nor Ministers at all yet upon the earth (which principle begins to take, and spread already amongst ma∣ny Independents.) In a word, that Liberty and loosenesse, which is from first to last in Independent Government, holding no au∣thoritative Ecclesiasticall power out of the particular Congrega∣tion to remedie or prevent any matter, and that which is in the particular Congregation, being on many Grounds and Principles of theirs so slight and weake, as the only subject of Excommuni∣cation being no other kind of sins then may evidently be presumed to be perpetrated against the parties knowne light, &c. as that two or three Saints, or now of late six or seven may with-draw from Churches defective and impure, and make Churches and chuse all officers &c. with other like; (so that what need they care then for that Church of which they are members though cast out, seeing they can make new, and have all to their owne minde, be chiefe there) is a dangerous temptation even to sober men, to make them presume to broach that, practise that which else they would never have done. But in the Order and Government of the Reformed Churches there is consistence, unitie and strength (as is evident by a hundred yeares visible experience of Gods blessing from heaven upon them) there is also a certainty and fixednesse of rules agreed on, both for particular congregations, for Classes and Synods; there is an awing and preserving of officers and people in their bounds, and keeping them from running out to errours, &c. there being no man, be he never so able or subtill that can escape calling to account and censure. Magistrates and Ministers have Page  180 their power in the Church without usurpation and confusion, and to conclude in the words of the Commissioners of the Church of Scotland; were Magistrates and civill power acquainted with this order and government of the Church, they would finde their authoritie increased, their worke more easie, and their places more comfortable thereby.

And now having given an answer to that part of your Apologie under that instance of the government and discipline of the Chur∣ches, by speaking fully of those five heads unto which I referre all your discourse about the government and discipline of the Chur∣ches, (beginning in pag. 12. and ending in the 21.) I will for a close speake something to some of your passages contained in this part of your Narration, which could not so well be taken in, nor so properly animadverted upon under those five heads without the Readers being much confounded and entangled.

1. To that passage, p. 14. We had for the most part of the time we were abroad three Elders at least in each congregation whom we were subject to: I aske if the Churches were subject to the El∣ders, you many times having but three, and sometimes but two, nay one Elder, the government of your Churches then was ei∣ther Monarchicall Government, or Oligarchicall at best? And if the Churches were subject to the Elders, who were the Elders subject to, the Elders then were under no subjection, but if the Churches were subject to the Elders, and not the Elders to the Churches, riddle me what is the meaning of all those phrases, the Church still did so and so, not the Elders, the Church at Roter∣dam deposed M. Ward, and not M. Bridge and an Elder or two, and so M. Nye and M. Goodwin the Ministers, were sent by the Church, and that Church which had offended, confessed their sin, and restored their Minister to his place againe, which sure was not M. Bridge and a lay-Elder or two.

2. To those passages of Churches offended, calling to an account Churches offending, proceeding to full and open tryals, and ex∣aminations, to Iudiciarie charges, and deposition of witnesses openly before all commers of all sorts, as can be expected in any Court where Authority about them enjoyns it, and of a particular Church being censurable by neighbour Churches about them. I de∣sire Page  181 to put this disjunctive proposition, Either this power of calling to an account, examining, deposing witnesses, censuring them, &c. are acts of ruling and government, and in the Churches challenged acts of subjection, or they are not; if you grant they be acts of rule and government, then there is an authoritative power which Chur∣ches have out of their Churches, and you grant it in such acts at least, though not in that of excommunication: But whether if it be so in these, that of excommunication will not follow, let it be considered, for either the censure of excommunication is not founded upon the common grounds, on which callings to account, and some censures are, or else there is some proper peculiar grounds in the nature of that ordinance, or in the Scripture forbidding that, (though allowing others,) neither of which will be found to have a foundation in Scripture, and if so, why then doe you make all this adoe of entire, full, compleate power within your selves, and are against the combination of Churches in Classes, and Presbyteries, to doe that constantly, certainely and presently upon scandals that fall out in a Church, which you doe at best but at uncertainties, and after a long time, when the remedy may come too late, a yeare or two afterwards; But if you answer these are no acts of government and rule in this Church or Churches, but meerely acts of consultation, advice, perswasion, and that when the Churches offended have heard all, they only give their coun∣sell and advice, and commend it to them, but it is in their liberty to doe or not to doe; for though they submit to a hearing, and open triall by vertue of the principle of submission, yet they sub∣mitted not to stand to the determination and agreement of that Church, or Churches: I answer, if you meane no more then the bare power of counsell and advice in all this, and no power of Au∣thoritative determination and decision, this is no more, nor you give no more to the Churches offended then to particular Chri∣stians who may counsell them in such cases; And why then doe you hold out such words, and your practise of a full and open triall, and what speake you of roome for complaints, and of sub∣jecting to an open triall, and review of what can be brought, and of being censurable by neighbour Churches, &c. Whether be not all these the usuall phrases and expressions of acts of power and Page  182 government? can there be so much as triall, and examination, and judiciary charges, and deposition of witnesses without authority, much lesse censure? can you ever shew it either in civill govern∣ment in Common-wealth, or in Ecclesiasticall in Churches, out of Scripture, or stories, where all these acts were exercised and pra∣ctised by persons who only had power of counsell and advice? and if you cannot, how can you make it good, but that this must be more then advice and counsell, namely authoritative power. It is given as a rule by your selves, that in matters of a common nature, 'tis in Ecclesiasticall government as in civill; Now if in all civill Assemblies, all these acts and practises be acts of authority and go∣vernment, why holds it not so in Ecclesiasticall? And further to reason though Churches be sisters, and equall each considered by it selfe, yet in cases of offence and difference between Churches, the Churches complained and appealed unto, to whom the rest sub∣mit, should now be greater, and have more power in this thing, then the Churches submitting, and their acts should be authori∣tative, as in reason, 6, or 8, men falling out, and choosing and sub∣mitting to others to heare the businesse and make an end of it, these are now greater, and have a power and authority over these quo ad hoc, and in these acts and what they doe are acts of power, which they must stand unto or suffer the penalty.

Thirdly, You speake more then once upon occasion of this scan∣dall committed in that Church at Rotterdam, of Churches as in the plurall number, sister Churches to be consulted with before hand, and of your Churches mutually and universally acknow∣ledging that principle of submission, and how that Church •…hich with others was most scandalized, did by Letters declare their of∣fence, and of requiring a full and publike hearing before all the Churches of our Nation: Now what, and where were those o∣ther Churches of whom all this is spoke? I grant, that at Arn∣heim was one Church that Mr Bridges Church should have con∣sulted with, or have submitted to, but where were any other Chur∣ches? I will yeeld the Church at Arnheim might by letters de∣clare their offence, but I know not what other Churches did by letters doe the like; I grant the Church at Arnheim was a Church of our Nation, before whom the offending Church did yeeld a pub∣like Page  183 hearing, but I know of no other, I will not question but that the Church at Arnheim, and Mr Bridges Church, did upon the offence of deposing Mr Ward, acknowledge that principle of sub∣mission, and submit to one another, but I doubt no other did then mutually submit, for besides the Church at Arnheim offended, and Mr Bridges Church offending, there was no other Church of your way and communion for the offending Church to consult with, or that did write letters, or before whom the businesse was heard, &c. for I suppose and judge Mr Simpsons new Church be∣ing at that difference with Mr Bridges Church, and Mr Bridge with him, Mr Bridges Church should not have consulted with Mr Simpsons before hand, and that Mr Bridges Church would not have yeelded the principle of submission, to have submitted to a full triall and examination of all proceedings before Mr Simp∣sons, and in case Mr Simpsons Church had sent letters declaring their offence, they would have declined it as partiall, and as accoun∣ting them the parties offending; and I never heard that Mr Simp∣son with some messengers of his Church joyned with the messen∣gers of Arnheim in the triall of that businesse of Mr Ward, or sate as Judges, &c. so that I cannot tell why you use Churches in the plurall number thus all along in that businesse, but that the Reader might conceive for your greater authority and esteeme, and for the greater solemnity of the action, there were more Churches besides that at Arnheim.

Fourthly, For those two Gentlemen who were sent with the Ministers of the Church offended, to require an account, whether were those Gentlemen Elders of the Church of Arnheim, or private members only? If they were not Elders, why were pri∣vate members sent before Elders, shew us a rule for that? and sa∣tisfie us how private persons and no officers of the Church should represent the Church? but if they were Elders, why doe you name them Gentlemen only and not speake of them as officers?

5. Whether though you make so sure of it, yet it be not to be doubted upon the grounds of reason and light of nature, that it is not more brotherly and more suited to that liberty and equa∣lity Christ hath endowed his Churches with, but a point of grea∣ter authority, inequality and usurpation for foure men (grant them Page  184 to be a Church representative) to take upon them what those foure members of Arnheim did to a whole Church for so many dayes, so fully and judiciarily to proceed (as you write in the 21 page) then for a whole Presbyterie of Ministers and Elders, or a grave Synod to call to an account, and heare the offences of two or three in a particular Church, and together with that Church re∣presentative to decree such censures, as publike acknowledgement of their offences, or excommunication, &c.

Sixtly, I much wonder how you can call the meeting of Mr Goodwin and Mr Nye, with two Gentlemen more, calling Mr Bridge with the rest of that Church, supposed to be delinquents, such a sol•…mne Assembly, the solemnity of which hath left as deepe an impr•…ssion upon your hearts of Christs dreadfull presence as ever you have bee•… present at: Certainely you have either been but at few solemne Assemblies where Christs dreadfull presence hath been, or else your phancie was mighty high at that time, as to make such a deepe impression upon you of a dreadfull pre∣sence as ever you have been at: Let me aske Mr Nye, what was this Assembly, beyond the solemne generall Assembly of Scotland, where you were present when the great solemne Covenant of the Kingdomes passed, of which you write so highly into England? or was it beyond the Assembly of Divines, wherein not only two of you are for consultation, but all you •…ive, (with so many other godly Divines, where instead of two Gentlemen assisting then, here the Worthies of both Houses, Lords and Commons assist,) nay a Theatre of all other the most judicious and severe, where much of the piety, learning and wisedome of two Kingdomes are met in one (as your selves confesse afterwards in the 27 page,) I am of the mind there are ordinarily many Assemblies, and where you may have been, that have a more dreadfull presence of Christ then that had. The Church meeting to partake in the Lords Sup∣per, cal'd the dreadfull and terrible houre by some of the Fathers, the Church meeting to excommunicate an impenitent sinner, (where there is a promise of binding in Heaven what is bound on earth) which you cannot shew in your principle of submission and non-communion: But this parenthesis is drawne in, in the re∣lation of your practise (like many other particulars in this book) Page  185 to take with the simple people, and to possesse them with the excel∣lencie and majesty of your Congregationall way, beyond the Pres∣byteriall and Synodicall, and this passage here with many others in your Apologeticall Narration, are paralell to passages in Mr Bachelours letters, (who after his suddaine conversion to the Church-way,) for want of better arguments to winne the people, and to evince the truth of the Church-way, writes thus. For mine*own part, though but a few weeks agone when I was in England, I found some objection in my spirit, against the way of the Holland Churches, and conceived wrongfully (as Mr Edwards now doth) through misunderstanding cast abroad by them, whose sore eyes cannot endure the light of truth, yet since by a good hand of pro∣vidence I have been at Rotterdam and beheld the beautifull face of holinesse, the lively representations of Iesus Christ in his ordi∣nances, the sweet and blessed communion of the Saints in all love and dearenesse, mine objections are removed, mine heart is convin∣ced, and I thinke many thousands in England as well as my selfe would soone be overcome at the very sight thereof. A soule of gra∣tious ingenuity needs no other Rhetorick to winne it then the pre∣sence of these heavenly administrations? But what Anabaptist or Antinomian cannot say all this for their way, and more too, cry∣ing out the ravishments of the spirit, free and glorious grace, &c.

7. You speake of consulting with sister Churches before that you proceed to matters of great moment, and that you professed publikely in cases of concernment you ought so to doe, pag. 16. and yet in page 15. you claime a full and entire power compleat within your selves untill you shall be challenged to erre grossely, now how doe these agree? for if you must consult before hand, then 'tis not an entire, full, compleate power before miscarrying, and 'tis but a power of consulting and advising after miscarriages and erring grossely, and not an authoritative power.

8. Whereas you call Presbyteriall excommunication, excommu∣nication pretended; how much more truly may we call non-com∣munion pretended, and Protestation pretended? for besides that in the Scripture, excommunication is to be found, there is such a censure there, but no such sentence at all as non-communion; there is also ground in Scriptures, that Churches may be excommuni∣cated Page  186 as well as particular persons, and of this in the Observations and Annotations upon your Apologeticall Narration, page 43, 44. you may reade strong proofes, which your good friend M. S. thought best to take no notice of, as not knowing how to answer them, and I turne them over from M. S. to you five, to give a satis∣fying answer.

9. For that learned Speech made at the introduction and en∣trance into that solemne Assembly, as the preface to it, that it was the most to be abhorred maxime that any Religion hath ever made profession of, &c. I say 'tis but a meere flourish, and accor∣ding to the Proverbe, her's a great deale of cry, but a little wool, and notwithstanding all these swelling words, you are guilty in∣deed, what in words and phrases you deny, and in the more proper place when I shall speake to it in page 23, of your Apologie, I will evince you are guilty of Independent liberty.

Thus we have rendred some small account of those, the saddest*dayes of our pilgrimage on earth, wherein although we enjoyed God, yet besides many other miseries (the companions of banish∣ment) we lost some friends and companions, our f•…llow labourers in the Gospell, as precious men as this earth beares any, through the distemper of the place, and our selves came hardly off that ser∣vice with our healths, yea lives.

To this Section which containes the close and winding up of that part of your Narration, during the time of your exile. I an∣swer, It is a small account indeed you have rendred to what you seeme to hold out, and to what such a Narration should have a∣mounted, concealing •…nd reserving so much of your practise and wayes, (as I have before observed;) And as for those words, the saddest dayes of our pilgrimage on earth, &c. I wonder at them, sure you have been very happy men, and have enjoyed many very good dayes, that in your whole pilgrimage on earth of forty yeares and upwards, those three or foure yeares in Holland, where you enjoyed so many outward comforts and blessings, should be your saddest dayes; for my part I cannot say so; Neither am I satisfied in those words, besides many other miseries the companions of banishment: For though in some banishments there are many other miseries the companions of them, as deprivation of wife, Page  187 children, friends, maintenance, with nakednesse, hunger, wandring up and downe in strange and desolate places, harsh usage in a strange land, yet you felt none of these: But on the contrary, you enjoyed wives, children, estates, suitable friends, good houses, full fare, I cannot imagine fewer miseries, (had you been in England) could have waited upon you, then did there, (unlesse that of bit∣ter divisions, and deadly differences, the constant companions of your Church-way:) I could name many more miseries did abide some of us that stayed behind, and might have done you to, had you stayed in England: As for those two instanced in, particularly the losse of some friends and companions, your fellow-labourers in the Gospell, and your selves comming off hardly with your healths, yea lives, I must tell you, those cannot properly and tru∣ly be called the companions of your banishment; for those two Ministers (namely Mr Archer and Mr Harris) according to all reason and humane probability might not have lived longer in England, both of them (as it is well knowne) having been long weake men in consumptions, and sometimes nigh unto death be∣fore they went, and for one of these Ministers Mr Archer, he was so farre from being worse that he grew better and stronger in sto∣mack, sleepe, strength and spirits after he went over into Holland, (as besides the many letters writ into England to friends of all sorts of the healthfulnesse of that place where he was with some of you, and of the encrease of his strength,) I have letters written to me under his own hand, to shew the contrary to what you af∣firme both of the distemper of the place, and of the many other miseries the companions of that banishment: In one letter he writes thus; For Holland, it is much better then I expected, for pleasantnesse, health, plenty of flesh and foule: we alter not o•…r English diet in any thing: Utrich is a brave City, a University with godly professors, full of English; a man may live as pleasant∣ly there as at Hartford. And in another, My stomack, sleepe, strength and vigour, are sensibly increased, the Lord be praised: And besides these letters the thing it selfe speakes, for whereas in England he was not able to preach, nor had not hardly three times in three yeares, after he came into Holland he was Pastor of the Church at Arnheim, and preached constantly, and had that Page  188 strength to beget a sonne, whereas he being married many yeares in England never had any child. And not only from him but from others also there have been many letters sent to commend the pla∣ces where you lost your fellow labourers, to be so healthfull and pleasant as to resemble them to Bury in Suffolke and Hart ford. As for that high praise of those two worthy Ministers, as precious men as this earth beares any: I thinke it becomes you not, they being yours, and of your way, and cannot be interpreted by the un∣derstanding Reader, but that you take occasion here, as in all other places of your Apologeticall Narration, to magnifie and cry up your own party, the more to make people to be in love with your way, which had as precious men as this earth beares any, but I judge it is too high and hyperbolicall; for though I dearely loved the men, and doe acknowledge they were precious, and beleeve they are gone (as that great Divine said in his sicknesse he was going) where Luther and Zuinglius doe well agree; yet I must needs cor∣rect that phrase, as this earth beares any: For I am of opinion that both in learning and piety they were inferiour to some, not only in the earth which is wide and spatious, containing Churches and Ministers more pretious then you know of, but in this earth of England and Scotland, and your Encomium of them (if you re∣member what you writ before of some pretious men alive now in New-England as ever this Kingdome bred) and granting that New-England is the earth, doth amount to this, that these two Ministers Mr Archer and Mr Harris, were as pretious men as ever were in England, which you must pardon me if I doubt it, (for I beleeve Whitakers, Reynolds, Baynes, Greeneham, Dod, Bright∣man, with many more were more pretious:) As for that other in∣stance, Your selves comming hardly off that service with your healths, yea lives; I have not heard of any great sicknesses any of you five had there, (excepting Mr Bridge who came hardly off with his health,) Some of you indeed had Agues there, which you might have had in England, in Suffolk, or in Oxfordshire, and for Mr Bridges sicknesse, I judge it was as well occasioned, and streng∣thened upon the unhappy differences and bitter divisions between him and Mr Simpson, and Mr Ward and their Churches, and the wicked reports raised upon him, which discontented and troubled Page  189 his spirit, as by the distemper of the place or change of the aire; and for others of you, how fat and well liking you came backe into England, and how all of you returned well clad and shining beyond most of us, who lived alwaies in England, many can wit∣nesse, and have spoken of it (all which were no great signes ei∣ther of the many other miseries the companions of your banish∣ment, nor of the comming off so hardly with your healths and lives.)

When it pleased God to bring us his poore Exiles backe againe*in these revolutions of the times, as also of the condition of this Kingdome, into our own Land (the powring forth of manifold prayers and teares for the prosperitie whereof, had been no small part of that publike worship we offered up to God in a strange Land;) we found the judgement of many of our godly, learned bretheren in the Ministerie (that desired a generall Reforma∣tion) to differ from ours in some things, wherein we doe pro∣fessedly judge the Calvinian Reformed Churches of the first Re∣formation from out of Poperie, to stand in need of a further Re∣formation themselves; And it may without prejudice to them, or the imputation of schisme in us from them, be thought that they comming new out of Popery (as well as England) and the founders of that Reformation not having Apostolique infallibi∣litie, might not be fully perfect the first day, yea and it may hope∣fully be conceived, that God in his secret, yet wise and sacred dispensation, had left England more unreformed, as touching the outward forme, both of worship and Church-government, then the neighbour Churches were, having yet powerfully con∣tinued a constant conflict and contention for a further Reforma∣tion for these foure score yeares, during which time he had like∣wise in stead thereof, blessed them with the spirituall light (and that encreasing) of the power of Religion in the practique part of it, shining brighter and clearer then in the neighbour Chur∣ches, as having in his infinite mercie on purpose reserved and provided some better thing for this Nation when it should come to be reformed, that the other Churches might not be made perfect without it, as the Apostle speaks.

Having Apologized for your selves and way in your princi∣ples, Page  190 opinions, practises and carriage towards all sorts both be∣fore your exile and in your exile, here in this section you come to Apologize for your selves, and for what you have done since your comming back into England, both before the Assemblie and since the Assemblie, untill the time of putting forth this present Apo∣logeticall Narration, which beginning in this section is continu∣ed by you in the following sections to the 30th page: But bre∣thren why doe you in the beginning of this part of your Apologie give your selves that name of Gods poore Exiles, was it not e∣nough to have said, when it pleased God to bring us backe againe into our owne Land; but you must call your selves Gods Exiles and poore Exiles; I wonder you tearmed not your selves poore pilgrims: But the reason why you name your selves so here, and in this Apologie take occasion so often to speake of exile and ba∣nishment, may easily be guest at, namely to commend your per∣sons and way the more to the people, and for want of better, to take them with such popular arguments, as suffering a grievous exile: Thus in many other passages of your Apologie, you bring in and insert many such kind of phrases to worke with the people the more, but doe insinuate many things against the Presbyteriall way, as of engagements, publike interest, &c. But let me a lit∣tle examine whether you five can fitly be stiled Gods poore Exiles, I thinke to speake properly, you neither were Exiles, nor poore, for you were not banished, nor forced out of your owne Laud, neither by being brought into the High-Commission Court, or by Letters missive, and Attachments out against you, (as ever I heard) but (excepting M. Burroughes who fled in haste, as being in dangers for words spoken) you went at your own times over into Holland with all conveniences of your Families and other companie. * Among the Greekes Fuga was called exilium, and so you flying out of the kingdome, in that sense may be cal'd ex∣iles, but how ever in some sense you may call it exile, because you did flie out of your owne Country (though none persecuted you) to shun persecution before it came, as foreseeing possibility of danger, yet you can in no sence be called poore Exiles, for you were rich Exiles, who in Holland enjoyed many conveniences and such abundance, as to be able (some of you) to spend 200 Page  191 or 300. lb. per annum, and to doe other expensive acts (which for present I forbeare to name) And I can produce letters of ma∣ny conveniencies which you enjoyed there; Letters before quo∣ted by me of M. Archers speake so much. Poore exiles are such who have no certaine dwelling-place, maintenance, friends, but how they can be called poore Exiles, that enioy wives, children, friends full and liberall maintenance annually, liberty of callings, with all pleasures and delights as much, or rather more then in their owne countrey I see not: Suppose some merchants and trades∣men who could not so well nor so much to their advantage follow their callings, and drive their trade in their owne countrey should for their better advantage, and accomodatons in these kinds, goe with their families into another Countrey, can these be called Ex∣iles? Suppose a Minister, who disliking some things here in the present Government to be established; or wanting a liberall maintenance, or fearing the warre, should goe over to Roterdam, Hambrough to preach to the company of Merchants there, where he shall have better meanes, can this Minister be stiled a poore ex∣ile: Now I leave you and the Readers to make application. As for those words: Gods bringing you backe againe in these revo∣lutions of the times into your owne land. I know God permit∣ted it, and ordered it, but I well know Satan hastened and furthe∣red it, for the dividing of the godly party here, and for the ob∣structing the worke of Reformation and hindering the setling the government of the Church, that so in the meane time he might increase his kingdome, and bring in a floud of all errours and li∣centiousnesse upon us; and Brethren let me speake sadly to you (not out of passion, but out of long and serious deliberation) it had been good for you, and for us that you had continued exiles still, and that neither you five, nor they of New-England had heard of the revolution of our times and Gods visiting us in mer∣cie, till the Church and government had been setled; I am con∣fident that things had not then been at that passe now as they are: As for that Parenthesis, the powring forth of manifold prayers and teares for the prosperitie of the Kingdome in a strange Land: I will not gaine-say it, onely let me mind you of two passages in your Apologie, Our selves had no hopes of ever so much as visi∣ting Page  192 our own land again in peace and safety to our persons, and the o∣ther, when we had least dependencie on this kingdome, or so much as hopes ever to abide therin in peace. Now take away faith & hope, & endeavors will much cease, & this I judge should much hinder your praiers and teares for the prosperitie of the land (for my part I had much hope of the kingdom, when things were at worst, and I exprest it both in preaching and conference to many, and some can witnesse what I have said to them of the Arch-bishop of Canterbury and the rest of that faction, and of the revolution of the times) God was pleased so to support my spirit, that I expected and waited (as men doe for the light of the morning) when that every day God would arise, and doe some great worke and change the times and seasons. As for your finding the judgement of many of your god∣ly, learned brethren in the Ministerie (that desired a generall Reformation) to differ from yours in some things, that was no marvell, I wonder you could expect it otherwise, being but a few young men of yesterday, and going a way by your selves so diffe∣rent from all Reformed Churches: But I must tell you, you found not onely the judgement of many godly Ministers that de∣sired a generall Reformation, but the judgement of them all, who were in publike imployment, and of any great account to differ from yours, not onely in some things, but even in your whole Church way; how ever that since by your presence, and your politick way of working, and the strong streame of popular ap∣plause running that way, some few Ministers, uncertaine, heady, inconstant, wanton-witted men are since come off to your way; but as for your confidence and open profession that in the things wherein you differed from many of your godly brethren, that you professedly judge the Calvinian reformed Churches of the first Reformation from out of Poperie to stand in need of a further Re∣formation themselves. I answer they may doe so, and I know no Church yet so perfect but may stand in need of some further Reformation, and the Commissioners of the Church of Scotland grant you so much, pag. 7. That they are most willing to heare*and learne from the word of God what needeth further to be refor∣med in the Church of Scotland: Now whether your Churches and those of new England be so perfect, (though not of the first Page  193 Reformation) as to stand in no need of a further Reformation in government I much doubt, especially considering that letter lately come from New-England written by M. Parker, as also a nother Letter from M. Wilson of Boston, and a terrible Lette from a reverend godly Minister there, whose name I have been entreated to conceale (least it might much prejudice him there,) but for answer I must tell you I doe professedly judge, that in your sence in the things excepted against by you, the Reformed Chur∣ches (particularly that of Scotland) need not a further Refor∣mation, namely to come to your principles of Democracie, In∣dependencie, Libertinisme, and to keepe all those and their chil∣dren from admission into the visible Church whom you keepe out, and to condemne as unlawfull all set formes of prayer com∣posed by Synods and Assemblies (though never so holy and hea∣venly for matter and frame:) And as to that, that it may with∣out prejudice to them, or the imputation of Schisme in you be thought that comming new out of Poperie, they might not be fully perfect the first day. I answer, they never thought so, nei∣ther were they so fully perfect in Church government the first day, but the reformed Churches (particularly the French-Chur∣ches) had many Synods, Assemblies and Colloquies, where points of government and order have been further debated, clea∣red, and Canons added, and in the Church of Scotland after do∣ctrine was established, they were exercised in conferences and Assemblies about matters of Discipline and Government (which is the perfection spoken of here by you) above twenty yeares.* Besides considering that the Reformed Churches both in France, Scotland and Holland, have heretofore been troubled with the maine of your principles, and have heard all the Arguments and reasons for them, and against their owne way, and that both of old, and now of later yeares, Scotland of old having been trou∣bled with the Separatists, and the Churches of France by Morel∣lius, against whom Sadeel did write, and *Beza in his Epistles writes against that principle of the power of the people, that no∣thing is ratified except the people present by their expresse suffra∣ges doe decree it, and against * private mens prophecying in the Church: and of late (though the controversie be growne so high) Page  194 yet Divines both in Holland and Scotland (as your selves confesse) have writ against your way, and can see no light I•…m it, and in a generall Assembly of Scotland since our Parliament, the point being moved and debated there, it was concluded against by the whole Assembly, nemine contradiconte, as a Letter written from that Assembly to many Ministers in the City (which I heard read at a meeting) testifies, neither are any of the Reformed Churches yet satisfied, by all that hath been written about your Independent government, nor our present Assembly by all they have heard from you, after so many dayes speaking for your way: So that what the Reformed Churches stand for now, is not as comming new out of Poperie, and so wanting light (as you as∣sert) and therefore though they had not Apostolicke Infallibi∣litie, yet they might well be in the right for Church-govern∣ment, and therefore the Reformed Churches, and the Church of England too judging of government now after above 80. years comming out of Poperie, and after hearing all that hath been said, and that you can say (now after almost a yeares sitting in the Assembly.) They yet judge Presbyteriall government by Clas∣ses and Synods to be the true forme of Church-government, a∣gainst your Independencie, so that now the ground you going upon, being taken away, you cannot without great prejudice to the Re∣formed Churches so peremptorily judge them (as you doe in this place of your Apologie:) And as your practise cannot be with∣out prejudice to them, and the imputation of Schisme in you from them, to set up new Churches and divide from them upon these grounds, so this passage of yours here against all the Reformed Churches, cannot avoyd the suspition of great arrogancie and pride, to proclaime your selves to see more then all the Churches in worship and government, and to judge them so: 'Tis a high presumption that five such young men as you are, and no deeplier studied, should thus proudly, and tanquam ex tripode, so ma∣gisterially conclude against all the Reformed Churches. Certain∣ly, had you had the humilitie of many of Gods servants you would rather have feared, and questioned whether you might not have been mistaken in your grounds, and therefore modestly have propounded your doubts to the Assembly to have resolved Page  195 them, rather then before the points ever came to be debated in the Assembly (in such matters where you goe against the com∣mon streame of all Reformed Churches) to have thus professed∣ly, peremptorily and resolvedly; both in this Section, and in the next pag. 24. determined the questions. And brethren let me friendly mind you who are you five? of what standing, reading, graces to take so much to your selves; and to be so peremptory, that you should see that, which all the Reformed Churches doe not, nor are not able by any of your Arguments, nor what else is extant to see or be convinced of; But as for the close to this part of the Section concerning the Calvinian Reformed Chur∣ches, that it may hopefully be conceived that God left England more unreformed as touching Government and Worship then the neighbour Churches were, &c. It is a strange speech, and sa∣vours of a strange high conceit of your owne way of Independen∣cie, and of your great light and abilitie in this Assembly, (where the Church of England is to be reformed) and to speake plainly, the English and sence of all these lines is this, That it may be hope∣fully conceived that God in his secret, yet wise and gracious dispen∣sation hath all this long time for above 80. years left England more unreformed, and of his infinite mercy on purpose reserved it for this present Assembly, that M. Goodwin, M. Nye, &c. might bring a new light in Church government and order, and so Scotland and the Neighbour-Churches might be new-moulded into their way: But how ever some of you are men of strong fancies, and all of high confidences of your owne opinions and wayes, yet I beleeve you will be deceived at this time, (how ever you may comfort your selves and Churches with the hopes of prevailing at another time, saying that Presbyterie shall fall as Episcopacie hath done after it's time) (one of that way for want of argu∣ments having used such words to me) and that M. Goodwin, M. Nye, &c. will not be able to effect what they desire and hope for, but it may be rather hopefully conceived, that in stead of the reformed Churches comming to them, these five members of the Assembly at last, with others to, upon this glorious Refor∣mation will be brought to joyn with other reformed Churches, ac∣cording to the solemn Covenant and oath themselves have entred into.

Page  196We found also (which was as great an affliction to us as our for∣mer*troubles and banishment) our opinions and wayes (wherein we might seeme to differ) environed about with a cloud of mi∣stakes and misapprehensions, and our persons with reproaches; Besides other calumnies as of schisme, &c. (which yet must ei∣ther relate to a differi•…g from the former Ecclesiasticall govern∣ment of this Church established, and then who is not involved in it as well as we, or to that constitution and government that is yet to come; and untill that be agreed on, established and declared, and actually exist, there can be no guilt or imputation of schisme from it,) That proud and insolent title of independencie was af∣fixed unto us, as our claime; the very sound of which conveyes to all mens apprehensions the challenge of an exemption of all Churches from all subjection and dependence, or rather a trumpet of defiance against what ever power, spirituall or civill, which we doe abhorre and detest, or else the odious name of Brownisme together with all their opinions as they have stated and maintained them, must needs be owned by us: Although upon the very first declaring our judgements in the chiefe and fundamentall point of all Church discipline, and likewise since it hath been acknowled∣ged that we differ much from them. And we did then, and doe here publikely professe, we beleeve the truth to lye and consist in a midle way betwixt that which is falsely charged on us, Brownisme; and that which is the contention of these times, the Authoritative Presbyteriall government in all the subordinations and procee∣dings of it.

I desire you to resolve me, and the Reader, how the first sentence in this Section, Your opinions and wayes environed about with a cloud of mistakes and misapprehensions and your persons with reproaches can stand with those words in the 24 page: We found many of those mists that had gathered about us, or were rather cast upon our persons in our absence, begun by our presence a∣gaine, and the blessing of God upon us, in a great measure to scatter and vanish without speaking a word for our selves and cause. And now if upon your presence only and that without spea∣king a word they vanished and were scattered, how did they then vanish upon speaking for your selves and way, and then how could Page  197this cloud of mistakes, &c. so easily blowne away by your breath, nay without your breath be so great an affliction to you, (certaine∣ly you are men very tender of any mistake, misapprehension or re∣proach upon you,) but I thinke it may be salved by your compa∣rison as great to us as our former troubles and banishment; both much alike great, that is, neither of them: But what meane you by that parenthesis (wherein we might seeme to differ) did but your opinions seeme to differ from ours, and doe they not really? why then have you, and doe you make all this adoe in our Church? as for your opinions and wayes environed with mistakes and mis∣apprehensions, I know nothing for my part hath been fasten'd upon your wayes, but what hath been found in letters, manu∣scripts, your known practises, and in printed books of New-Eng∣land, and in the discourses of your own members and familiars: But if some men who have not studied the points, nor given them∣selves to understand your way, did mistake and misapprehend you, that was your own fault, that walking so in the darke, and having been so often desired to give a Narrative of what you hold in dif∣ference, never yet would; As for the calumnies east upon you of Schismes, Independencie and Brownisme, with the reasons inser∣ted to vindicate your selves from them. I shall first give a generall answer to them together, and then to each of them apart.

1. In generall, how ever you doe in words wash your hands of these imputations, and wipe your mouthes, confidently denying them, yet all the water in the Thames will not wash you from all just imputation of these: It is no new thing for men who goe in bye wayes and maintaine errors whether more fundamentall, or superstructory, to abominate the names and titles given to those opinions, whether from the Authors who first broacht them, or from the matter of them, and to deny the opinions and points charged upon them, by finding out some distinctions, or doubtfull words and expressions to cloud them with, in which sense they wrap up themselves, and deceive many, and so give other names: I might fill up a book in giving Instances out of antient and mo∣derne writers of this Artifice: Those who are commonly called Saracens, their name is Haggarens, (as comming of Hagak) but they would not be so called, but name themselves Saracens,Page  198 sons of the free-woman: The Schwenefeldians, cal'd by Luther, Philip Melancton and other famous Divines, Stenckfeldians, from * the ill savour of their opinions, yet Schuvenckfeldius entituled them with that glorious name, the confessors of the glory of Christ. The Antinomians will not endure to be called by that name, but stile themselves the Hearers of the Gospell, and of Free-grace; the old Separatists could not endure to be called Brownists, or Bar∣rowists, (as appeares by the title of Mr Robinsons Apologie,) so, you will not endure the titles of Schisme, Separation, Indepen∣dencie, but you call it the Congregationall government, and the Church way, and an entire, full, compleate power, but by no meanes Independent government, that will not be indured; As no sin will be called willingly by its own name, but takes other names; drunkennesse will be cal'd good fellowship, covetousnesse good hus∣bandry and providence; so few errors will be called after the name of the first father, or the matter simply they hold; and I could give you many reasons of this, amongst others take these: 1. Many are possessed by books and arguments against such and such er∣rours under such names and titles; now that erroneous men may avoid all the dint of the arguments and the impressions such names and termes have left upon many, they disclaime the ould and invent new words and phrases against which the people have not been possest, the better to take them. 2. Erroneous spirits would have nothing fixt or certaine to be fastned on them, upon which able men might bring arguments and reasons against them: But the reader shall see all this will not help you, but that the just charge of these must lye upon you. 2. To answer particularly, You are justly charged of Schisme and Separation, and if you consult with the Scriptures and Authors both antient and moderne: Au∣stin, Calvin, Zanchius, Morneus, Peter Martyr, Iunius, Perkins, Parker, and see what they write of schisme and separation, you will be found guilty of it, and as for the argument brought by you by which you would cleare your selves from schisme, that it must either relate to your differing from the former Ecclesiasticall go∣vernment of Bishops, or to that constitution and government that is yet to come, &c. I answer, though it relate to neither of them, yet it may arise from other causes, your disjunctive proposition Page  199 doth not containe a full enumeration of all the causes, or reasons of schisme, for the non-conformists did of old differ from that for∣mer Ecclesiasticall government, and yet were never justly accused of separation and schisme, but writ most vehemently against it, neither is schisme to be judged of upon some difference in judge∣ment which may be from that constitution and government, that is yet to come, for though some men should differ from it, as not holding it the best government, yet so long as they separate not from the publike worship and ordinances, nei∣ther doe draw people into separated Assemblies, they cannot be charged with separation; The ground therefore of schisme impu∣ted to you, comes as from your forsaking our publike Assemblies, and separating from Gods ordinances and his servants, because of mixt communion, and setting up of Churches against our Church, and going on still in that way, notwithstanding all the Reforma∣tion begun, and that which is likely to be perfected; so also from not joyning your selves with the other reformed Churches. But if you say, that you cannot be counted guilty of schisme and separa∣tion, because you doe not withdraw from us with condemnation of us, as no true Churches, nor true Ministers, (as the Brownists doe.) I answer, you doe the same thing they doe, though upon dif∣ferent grounds; Now suppose a woman should withdraw from her husband, and joyne to another ordinarily, yet not with con∣demnation of him as no husband, but would now and then keep communion with him; suppose a servant forsake his Master, and joyne to another, yet comes away without rayling against him, doth this justifie him? But why make you such a businesse of it (as you doe) to forsake the communion of all our Churches, and of all the reformed Churches, and of joyning to Churches only of such a constitution, if you condemned them not? what though you doe not leave them as Antichristian, Babilonish, as false and untrue, yet if you leave such Churches, because impure, defective, under bondage, not of so good a constitution? in this you condemne them, and so are guilty of schisme: I aske of you, if the members of some of your Churches should upon grounds, not because you are false Churches, and false Ministers, but because you are not to pure as some others, nor as they could set up a Church? (as for instance, Page  200 because wicked men are admitted to prayer amongst you, or be∣cause the ordinance of Hymnes is not yet setled in all your Chur∣ches, &c.) forsake and leave your Assemblies, and yet should o∣penly professe they doe not condemne your Churches as no Chur∣ches, but only joyne to Churches of a purer constitution, or set up a new Church (as Mr Simpson did) whether is this a schisme and separation? doe you not hold this unlawfull, (especially this being without your consents, nay against them (as not being sa∣tisfied in the reasons and causes of such a departure.) Now if it be schisme and separation in some of your members, pray free your selves, and in your Reply wash your Churches from this of∣fence, in withdrawing from ours, and answer that axiome, that magis & minus non variant speciem, and what ever you can say for your departing from us to enjoy further degrees of purity, or because our Churches are defective in some ordinances, &c. that your members may for themselves, (for according to your own confession in Apologie, page 30. you differ little from us and the reformed Church, yea farre lesse then the Anabaptists or some sort of Brownists doe from you: Now then I put this Dilemma to you, whether is it schisme in your members or not? if it be schisme in them, and they may not leave your Churches, then it is schisme in you, and you may not forsake ours; but if it be no schisme in them, but they may doe so, members may still goe from one pure Church to a purer (according to their new light,) then satisfie me where you will stay, and make a stand? and what is schisme and separation? and whether a great gap and wide dore be not left open for schisme upon schisme, and separation upon se∣paration, from your Churches to the Brownists, and from the Brownists to the Anabaptists, and so in infinitum? And let me tell you, though you who are Schollers have found out these di∣stinctions about our Churches and Ministers, whereby you think you salve all, and so make account you are not guilty of schisme, (as the learned Papists having distinctions about Images, Wor∣ship, &c. say, they worship not the Images, but the persons in the Images, &c.) (though the people who doe not so well understand nor cannot always remember such distinctions) worship the very Images, and that with the same worship as they doe God,) so the Page  201 people who by your counsell and example, had forsaken our Chur∣ches, they leave our Churches and Ministers as not true, they con∣demne our Churches and Ministers, and wonder at those passages in your Apologie, page 6. and say they took you otherwise, and so they become guilty of schisme and separation without such distin∣ctions, (though you with distinctions.)

For that title of Independencie affixed unto you as your claime, it is well you call it a proud and insolent title, had I stiled it so in my Reasons against Independent governement, it would have been counted by your side a reviling of the way of God, and a ca∣sting great reproach upon Christs government; but I shall give you and the reader a good account for that title affixed unto the Church-way and communion that you are of, (and if it be offen∣sive you must blame your selves, and your own party, and not me:) This Independencie and Independent government, was a name of your own giving, and sure, I, and others might lawfully call the child by the name the father and friends gave it; To speak nothing of the name of Independent government given to particular Con∣gregations in many books of the totall Separatists maintaining it formally in those words, it will be found in many printed books and manuscripts written by many men of your way and com∣munion, (namely of the middle way as you call it) who owne and call the government of particular Congregations Indepen∣dant, and reason for it under that name. Amongst others you shall find it in these books, Protestation Protested, Mr Davenports Profession of his Faith, Sions Prerogative royall,*A Dis∣course opening the nature of Episcopacie, The Answer from New-England to Mr Herles book against Independencie, in aChrist upon his Throne; and in manuscripts not a few, particularly in a manuscript intituled, a Treatise about a Church, (going under one of your names) speakes often of Independent power and In∣dependent government. Besides Independent government hath been preached for at Margrets Church in Westminster, and the City of London in those words, so that I wonder how you dare make such a flourish; for my part I should never have invented the name, neither would it have ever entred into my mind, but that it was common in the books, manuscripts and mouthes of men of Page  202 your way: And this hath been taken so for granted, that not I alone (who might more easily have mistaken) writ against the government of your Congregations under that name, but the lear∣ned and reverend Divines of Scotland writ against it under that name, (using those tearms and phrases often) and the learned Divines of Holland, (particularly Voctius)a and a learned and ingenious Divine of our own too, writ against your government under the title of Independencie, (whose book containes many passages particularly referring to you the Apologists:) And so Mr Channell who candidly testifies for you, (even when he would free you from being called Brownists) yet saith you be commonly cal'd the Independent Ministers, and doth by way of distinction from the reformed Churches, call your Congregations Indepen∣dent. But yet further to fasten on you (as you are pleased to stile it, that proud and insolent title of Independencie) however that you disclaime the title here and in other pages 14, 21, yet you ac∣knowledge the thing abundantly in the book, namely a full and entire power, compleat within your selves, untill you be challen∣ged to erre grossely, and then when you are challenged to erre grossely, and upon examination and deposition it is fully proved, yet you will not subject to any Authoritative, Ecclesiasticall power out of the particular Congregation, this is the only thing in your Apology largely, and with any seeming strength insisted up∣on, and for the exemption from that, you have found out the de∣vice of submission and non-communion, and tell us your solemne practise upon it, with the successe of it: Now what else hath been fastned on you as your claime by them who have writ against your way, but this, did any of the Divines commended by you? or did I in my reasons against your governement, write in any other sense but in the point of Ecclesiasticall government and power? did we lay to your charge in our writing against Independencie, that you challenged an exemption of all Churches from all sub∣jection and dependance, or rather, that you should blow a trum∣pet of desiance against what ever power, spirituall or civill? did I, or any others charge you with refusing all subjection to the ci∣vill Magistrate? And for that other dependance of consultation and non-communion upon other Churches, the power you give Page  203 in that kind to Synods, &c. I acknowledged it in my eight reason, * and argued from thence to the power of excommunication; why then doe you deale thus deceitfully and doubly, pretending to ab∣horre and detest Independencie as it was objected and pleaded a∣gainst you, when as besides the very words and phrases found in so many printed books and notes, you hold all that in the question, which is the difference betwixt you and the Presbyterians, as also in some of your books, Independent and entire power are termini convertibiles, (as in the title of Sions Prerogative Royall) (which entire, full, compleate power, in terminis, and in so many sillables you owne more then once in this Apologie,) so that all your great words of abhorring and detesting the exemption of your Churches from all power spirituall, or civill, will not save you from Independencie justly affixed unto you: As for civill power, it is not the question in controversie, neither was it affixt unto you, and for spirituall power properly cal'd you deny it all along, in many pages speaking against authoritative power often, page 15, 18, 19. And to put you this Dilemma, either you give authori∣tative power to other Churches, or you doe not, if you doe give it, why doe you speake so against it in your Apologie, but if you doe not give it, why would you make your Reader beleeve you doe give spirituall power, and are not against it, is not this dou∣bling and shuffling, and troubling the waters that the Reader can∣not tell where to find you, nor what you hold, (too great an evi∣dence of a weake and bad cause, becomming not such men as you would be taken for) truth is open and naked, and doth not seeke out holes and subterfugies. But brethren doe not deceive your selves, nor your Reader any longer, if you be not against spirituall power properly so called of any Classes or Synods in reference to particular Congregations, what meane you by all you say from page 12, to the end of the 19? and of all that controversie and Tragedies made by you against the reformed Churches, for giving a power to Classes and Synods; and let me intreate you, (that the controversie may be brought to some end between you and us) in your Reply set down particularly what you will allow to Clas∣ses Synods, generall Assemblies and Councels, in matter of government? and whether that you will allow and give Authority Page  204 and power yea or no, and what you will not give nor allow them, and then state the question so, and I doe promise you in my Re∣joynder to apply my selfe to give you satisfaction (as if you ex∣cept Excommunication, Ordination, or what else) to show you the grounds for them, and if we love truth and peace, either you shall win me, or I you.

3. For the odious name of Brownisme, together with all their opinions, as they have stated and maintained them, must needs be owned by us. I answer, Brownisme (as you in these words expresse it) hath not been fastned on you by any that I know, but on the contrary, you have been commonly contra-distinguish'd from them, being called Independents, Semi-separatists; and in my reasons against Independent government, I doe in many passages difference you from them; and for all their opinions, as they have stated and maintained them, namely drawing such con∣sequences, and conclusions, and going so farre as they, I have often vindicated you, but yet, for all that you cannot justly free your selves from the odious name of Brownisme in most of the fundamentall principles and practises of your Churches, no not with all your Artifices and specious pretences: As the Brownists growing up, and out of the Anabaptists, did refine and qualifie Anabaptisine in many things, in government, prophecying, &c. So have you refined and qualified Brownisme from the grossenesse and rigidnesse of it, as it was held by the first Fathers and Au∣thours of it; (as I could show in many particulars) you doe not goe so farre as they, neither are you against some practises of other Churches upon those high termes; but yet for substance, from the first stone to the last, in departing from our Assemblies and constituting new, you agree with them (as by a * paralell betweene the way of your Communion and the Separatists lately printed doth appeare:) And in a word it is evident thus: You agree with the way of New-England (as is confest by some of yourselves) and we may judge so by your high praise of them. Now the Churches of New-England agree with them of M. Ro∣binsons Church, who are moderate and qualified Brownists: Now that the Church-way of New-England is the same with them of M. Robinsons Church is proved thus: The Church at Page  205New-Plymouth was the first companie that planted in those parts, who comming from Leiden where they were members of M. Robinsons Church a moderate Brownist in his latter time, pra∣ctised the Church-opinions and wayes they formerly, had in Hol∣land, and when they of New-England went over first (through their conversing with them and nearenesse of scituation) they tooke up and learned their way, (as appeares by these parti∣culars.)

First, M. W. an eminent man of the Church of New-Plymouth, told W. R. that the rest of the Churches of New-England at first came to them of Plymouth to crave their direction in Church∣courses and made them their patterne.

Secondly, M. Cotton in a letter to M. Skelton one of the first Ministers that went over thither, writes thus to him, in way of * answer to this Position, that M. Skelton held: That our Con∣gregations in England are none of them particular Reformed Churches, but M. Lathrops and such as his.

This errour re∣quires rather a Booke then a letter to answer it, you went hence of another judgement, and I am afraid your change hath sprung from New-Plymouth men, whom though I much esteeme as godly, loving Christians, yet their grounds which for this Te∣net they received from M. Robinson, doe not satisfie me.

Thirdly, There is great commendations given to the Church of Plymouth by M. Cotton after comming to New-England, in his letter to M. Williams, pag. 13.

Fourthly, All the Ministers and Elders of New-England doe affirme, that all the Churches in New-England, viz. in the Bay, in the jurisdiction of Plymouth and at Connet•…acute, are one and the same way in Church constitution, government and discipline without any materiall difference. Now what can be said more plaine? Adde to all these, that I had it from the mouth of a god∣ly * Minister of the City, conferring with one of your precious Mi∣nisters about these points, before he went into Holland, and telling him, This is Brownisme and Browne held thus; what are you a Brownist? Your companion and fellow-labourer answered him thus: The way was of God, but the man was nought, namely Browne. As for those words whereby you would evade the Page  206 naine of Brownisme, That upon the very first declaring your judgements in the chiefe and fundamentall point of all Church discipline; and likewise since, it hath been acknowledged, you differ much from them: 'Tis not your saying so will cleare you, unlesse you had named what that chiefe and fundamentall point of all Church-discipline is, and how, and in what words you de∣clared your judgements; and to whom: for you might so ex∣presse your selves (as you doe in this Apologie too often) whereby you might deceive the most of them to whom you de∣clared your judgements: yea many able Ministers and Scholars (who are not versed in your distinctions and reservations) and yet for all the declaring of your judgements, differ very little from the Brownists, except in different phrases, and in not deducing such consequences. Let me intreate you therefore to lie no lon∣ger hid under such generals, but in your Reply, declare particu∣larly what you hold the chiefe point of all Church-discipline, and wherein in that you differ from them: But may I guesse at the chiefe and fundamentall point of all Church-government and discipline, wherein you declared your judgements, by which you would distinguish your selves from the Brownists: Is it not, that you give the power and authoritie to the officers, and not to the people onely? I have heard that of late you have declared your selves thus, and the late Epistle before M. Cottons booke written by two of you implies so much? But be it so (though I can out of a letter of M. Bridges, and from notes and manuscripts show, that seven yeares agoe the expressions of some of you were other∣wise) yet this will not free yo•…, for M. Iohnson fell to this, and yet was guiltie of Brownisme for all that. But in this also your principles and your practises are incoherent, and however in fine words, and flattering similitudes, you dilate upon it in your Epistle to M. Cottons late booke, yet it comes much to one, the sub∣stance of which Epistle I will answer in my Rejoynder to your Reply, or in some thing by it selfe, and will wipe off the paint and guilt, and then the naked counter and rotten post will appeare. As for your publick profession, that you beleeve the truth to lie and consist in a middle way betwixt Brownisme, and that which is the contention of these times, the Authoritative Presbyteriall Page  207 Government in all the subordinations and proceedings of it. I answer, then Actum est de Presbyterio, & de Synodo. You have de∣termined the cause alreadie, the Assembly may rise when they please, and need sit no longer, for the truth lies and consists in Indepen∣dencie, but I suppose, though heretofore, and when you wrote this Apologie, you did so publickly prefesso, and beleeve the truth to lie in your way (the middle way as you terme it) yet by what hath past since, your height and courage is somewhat aba∣ted, and you are not now so peremptory, and I find now, you write in another stile (which becomes you much better) We humbly suppose, we humbly conceive, again in all humilitie: But if you be high still, I must tell you your confidence hath decei∣ved you, and your middle way (as you fancie it) (though I * must still charge upon you refined Brownisme) will prove like o∣ther pretended truthes lying in middle wayes, just as the Catho∣licke and Arminian moderatours, Cassander, the booke called *Interim, and that booke of late times cal'd media via, betweene the Papists and Protestants, and betweene the Calvinists and Ar∣minians: And as for the way of your expression of Presbyteri∣all government, I cannot but except at it, observing that all a∣long obliquely, and as farre as you may, you still asperse that. You can here expresse Brownisme simply, without any additions to it, but you cannot passe by Presbyteriall government without a lash at it, which is the contention of these times, as if you would insinuate the blame of all the contentions and stirre of these times to be Presbyteriall Government, whereas the truth is, the con∣tention of these times is Episcopall, and your Independent Go∣vernment, which have caused, and doe continue all the conten∣tion and stirres in Church and Common-wealth, they mutually strengthning each other against Presbyteriall government; and •…o 'tis still to be observed, that all along in this Apologie, where you speake of Presbyteriall Government; you state the questions a∣bout that, in the highest and utmost latitude, but of your owne Church and way in the lowest, yea lower then you hold (as for instance in 11, 12. pag. about the qualification of Church-members) to deceive the Reader with your pretended moderation, and the more to possesse the Reader against the jus divinum of the Pres∣byteriall Page  208 way, as for example in this place, Authoritative Pres∣byteriall government in all the subordinations and proceedings of it: Now the substance and summe of Presbyteriall governe∣ment may be according to Apostolicall Primitive patternes, and yet all the subordinations and proceedings of it, as it is practised in the Church of Scotland, fitted to that Nation and Kingdome, may have no Scripture examples: Presbyteriall government in some Reformed Churches, as at Geneva, hath not all the sub∣ordinations and proceedings as Scotland, being no Kingdome nor Nation; and Presbyteriall government in England, might have one subordination more then Scotland, and some different proceedings in the manner and forme of carrying matters accor∣ding to particular circumstances and occasions of time and place. The Ministers of the Church of Scotland, who hold their Church Government to be laid downe in the word of God for the substance and essentials of it, doe not (as I sup∣pose) hold that all the subordinations and proceedings, as pra∣ctised in their kingdome, have a particular rule, either of precept or example: I doubt not but they well understand, no whole Nation was converted to the faith in the time that the Acts of the Apostles and Epistles were written; nor the supreame Ma∣gistrate in any Kingdome or Nation; and therefore in no one Church or Nation where Christians were converted, and Chur∣ches planted, there could not be that formall combination into Classes, setled Synods or generall Assemblies; neither could the supreame Magistrate, or a Commissioner for him be a prime member in their chiefe Assemblies; and so I might instance in o∣ther particulars; but the Church of Scotland find Presbyteriall Government in subordinations and appeales; that is Govern∣ment exercised in Churches and Assemblies which consisted of more members then could meet in one place, and they find As∣semblies, where upon cases of difference there were more mem∣bers and officers then of one Church (as the Acts of the Apo∣stles showes fully) and this serves for Scripture grounds to them: Now then for the manner of ordering of this, according to dif∣ferent Kingdomes, Nations or Cities, in fewer or more subordi∣nations; and in the way and manner of proceedings by severall Page  209 Churches, according to locall, temporall and personall circum∣stances, they know well they must goe according to generall rules of the word, to the common lawes of nature and prudence, and so they leave other Churches to doe the like.

And had we been led in our former wayes, and our removall*out of this Kingdome by any such spirit of faction and division, or of pride and singularity (which are the usuall grounds of all schisme) we had since our returnes againe, during this intermi∣sticall season, tentations, yea provocations enough to have drawne forth such a spirit; having manifold advantages to make and increase a partie, which we have not in the least attempted. We found the spirits of the people of this Kingdome that professe or pretend to the power of godlinesse (they finding themselves to be so much at libertie, and new come out of bondage) readie to take any impressions, and to be cast into any mould that hath but the appearance of a stricter way. And we found that many of those mists that had gathered about us, or were rather cast upon our persons in our absence, began by our presence againe, and the blessing of God upon us, in a great measure to scatter and va∣nish without speaking a word for our selves or cause.

Whether all of you, or only some of you, were led in your for∣mer wayes, and in your removall out of this Kingdome, by any such spirit of faction, &c. I will not enter into your bosomes, nor judge of secret things, I leave you to search your selves, and to give account of your spirits to the Father of spirits; and whe∣ther you were led in your former wayes, and in your removall out of the Kingdome by any such spirit, or no, 'tis too evident by what I have fore-mentioned, that a spirit of faction and division, or of pride and singularity, wrought too much amongst some of you abroad: But though no such spirit led you, there are to me and many others, sufficient visible grounds of your removall out of this Kingdome after you once were off your setled places, as your feare of personall violence, your selfe-love and worldly wis∣dome to provide for your selves and yours (what ever became of the publicke) your horrible dispaire of comming in againe here, or things ever turning in this Land (as you twice expresse it) your great and excessive admiration of the persons of some who were Page  210 in the Church-way (accounting there were no such men in the world as they) your discontent and anger at the course and harsh usage in casting some of you out of your places (which often times are grounds of heresies and schismes) as I could shew out of Ecclesiasticall histories in Tertullian, &c. And besides these grounds, if I may judge of your being led in your former wayes, and of your removall out of the Kingdome (as your selves make the argument) by your spirit being drawne forth since your re∣turne in making and encreasing a partie, if that will evince your being led formerly by a spirit of faction and division or of pride and singularitie, I know not how you will free your selves, for since your returnes againe during this intermysticall season, you have not been idle, nor lost time, but have laid hold on the temp∣tations, provocations and the manifold advantages to make and increase a partie, nay you have not only laid hold on what you found readie to your hands, namely, the intermysticall season (through so many great businesses comming in upon the Parlia∣ment one upon another) & the spirits of the people of the kingdom that professe or pretend to the power of godlinesse, finding them∣selves to be so much at libertie and new come out of bondage rea∣die to take any impressions, &c. but you have made and encrea∣sed new for the making of a partie. And I much wonder how you dare speake thus, much lesse publiquely in print to publish, that you have not in the least attempted to make and encrease a partie; the contrarie whereunto is written in such great letters; that he who runnes may reade it, and I shall presently make evi∣dent in answering this passage, with others of the like nature in the 25. and 26. pages. For the spirits of the people of this King∣dome, that professe or pretend to the power of godlinesse, and e∣specially of the Citie and the adjacent parts, you give a true chara∣cter, together with the ground of it, finding themselves to be so much at liberty, and new come out of bonduge; and it is amongst all the passages in your booke one of the best; and if the people would well mind, and consider of it, that they are readie to take any impressions, and to be cast into any mould that hath but the appearance of a stricter way; This might doe them as much good, as all the Sermons you have preacht among them since your re∣turnes, Page  211 and might prove an antidote both against the golden sweet poyson in this booke, and the principles of your Church-way: But thus we see (by your owne confession) how easily and readily errours are entertained by the good people of this King∣dome, when as truth may stand without doores and knocke long before opened unto, even as good Phisitians and good right phi∣sicke hath a great deale a doe to find acceptance and admittance among the common-people, when Mountabancks and Empricks are sought unto. As to those words the finding that many of those mists that had gathered about you, or were rather cast up∣on your persons in your absence, began by your presence againe in a great measure to scatter and vanish, without speaking a word for your selves and cause. I answer, O happie rare men, powerfull and gracious with the people, whose very presence without spea∣king a word for themselves or cause, could doe thus much after a long absence, what will not your speaking and writing for your selves then doe? 'Tis well for you, the most eminent servants of God in all ages have not found mists that had gathered about them, or cast upon their persons to scatter and vanish away so ea∣sily, but after all Apologies and Defence for themselves and cause have found them to sticke close; and we find it harder to wipe off the aspersions and mistakes cast on us from your side (though for nothing else but for discharging our consciences, and labou∣ring to keepe good people from errours:) But Brethren if it were so with you (as here you write.) what need had you then to write this Apologie to cleare your selves from mistakes (espe∣cially having been now so long present in the Kingdome, and resi∣dent in the chiefe Citie, having the libertie of the Pulpits, and being members of the Assemblie) would not the sudden confu∣sed noise of exclamations restecting upon you interpretatively, without the writing of this Apologie have been suddenly blowne over and presently have died by the continued presence of your persons, and by your preaching, &c. as the many mists that had gathered about you in your absence, by your bare presence, with∣out sp•…aking a word were scattered? It is much, your former experience did not teach you to expect the latter, and to have rea∣soned from that to this, so as to have caused you to have forborne Page  212 making such an Apologie at such a time (as this) upon such an occa∣sion, as a sudden unexpected noise of confused exclamations. But how ever you hold out this in the beginning of your Apologie, as the ground of it, yet something else moved you to that work, and you have learned like the lap-wing to cry furthest off the nest.

But through the grace of Christ, our spirits are and have been so remote from such dispositions and aimes, that on the contrary*we call God and men to witnesse our constant forbearance ei∣ther to publish our opinions by preaching (although we had the Pulpits free) or to print any thing of our owne or others for the vindication of our selves (although the presses were more free then the Pulpits) or to act for our selves or way; although we have been from the first provoked unto all these all sorts of wayes, both by the common mis-understandings and mis-representations of our opinions and practises, together with encitements to this state not to allow us the peaceable practises of our consciences, which the Reformed Churches abroad allowed us, and these ed∣ged with calumnies and reproaches cast upon our persons in print; and all these heightned with this further prejudice and provocati∣on, that this our silence was interpreted, that we were either a∣shamed of our opinions, ex able to say little for them; when as on the other side (besides all other advantages) Bookes have bin written by men of much worth, learning and authoritie, with moderation and strength, to pre-possesse the peoples minds against what are supposed our Tenets. But we knew and considered that it was the second blow that makes the quarrell, and that the be∣ginning of strife would have been as the breaking in of waters, and the sad and conscientious apprehension of the danger of ren∣ding and dividing the godly Protestant party in this Kingdome that were desirous of Reformation, and of making severall inte∣rests among them in a time when there was an absolute necessitie of their nearest union and conjunction, and all little enough to effect that Reformation intended, and so long contended for; against a common adversarie that had both present possession to pleade for it selfe, power to support it, and had enjoyed a long continued settlement which had rooted it in the hearts of men; And this seconded by the instant and continuall advices and con∣jurements Page  213 of many honourable, wise and godly personages of both Houses of Parliament, to forbeare what might any way be like to occasion or augment this unhappy difference; They having also by their Declarations to his Majesty professed their endeavour and desire to unite the Protestant party in this Kingdom, that agree in fundamentall truths against Popery and other heresies, and to have that respect•… to tender consciences as might pre∣vent oppressions and inconveniences, which had formerly been; Together with that strict engagement willingly entred into by us for these common ends, with the rest of our brethren of the Mini∣stery, (which though made to continue but ad placitum, yet hath bin sacred to us.) And above all, the due respect we have had to the peaceable and orderly Reformation of this Church and State; the hopefull expectation we have been entertained with of an happy latitude and agreement by meanes of this Assembly, and the wise∣dome of this Parliament: The conscience and consideration of all these, and the weight of each, have hitherto had more power with us to this deep silence and forbearance, then all our own interest•… have any way prevailed with us to occasion the least disturbance amongst the poople. We have and are yet resolved to beare all this with a quiet and strong patience; (in the strength of which we now speake, or rather sigh forth this little) referring the vindi∣cation of our persons to God, and a further experience of us by men; and the declaration of our judgements, and what we con∣ceive to be his truth therein, to the due and orderly agitation of this Assembly, wherof both Houses were pleased to make us members.

In this Section are three maine things; 1. Your way and car∣riage of your selves since your returne into England, as not in the least attempting to make and encrease a party, but on the con∣trary, constantly forbearing either by preaching, &c. to doe any thing for you selves and way. 2. The provocations you have had from the first, all sorts of wayes to have done otherwise, whereby you the more set out and commend your patience and forbearance. 3. The grounds and reasons laid downe of your deep silence and forbearance: now all, and every one of these I will examine, and give the Reader and your selves this account following:

Page  214 For the first of these three, and your expressions in it, above all other passages in your Narration, I cannot but admire and won∣der what you meant by them, and where your consciences, me∣mories and wisedomes were when you writ them? many passages in other Sections of this Apologie are strange for their doubtfull double meaning, and for their untruth, but some passages in this Section were beyond my imagination of you, not only thus pub∣likely to write manifest untruths, and to subscribe to them with your own hands, but to father them on the grace of Christ, and to invocate the Name of God to make him owne them, calling God to witnesse, yea, and men too, to witnesse such untruths, (when as God and men know the contrary to what you here assert,) I mar∣vaile, none of you, (one at least) had not relented, and startled at these passages in the first part of this Section, But through the grace of Christ, our spirits are, and have been so remote from such dispositions and aymes, that on the contrary we call God and men to witnesse our constant forbearance either to publish our opinions by preaching, &c. Now the first part of this Section, instead of what you write here, may be thus truly written (and I shall pre∣sently make it good:) We since our returnes into the Kingdome, having had manifold advantages to make and increase a party, have made use of them, and in a great measure attempted it, for through the want of the grace of Christ, our spirits have had such dispositions and aimes, that God and men can witnesse, our dealing * and trading for our opinions and way, both by preaching, and some of us by printing; and many other wayes acting for our selves and way; so that the conscience and consideration of all the reasons, as the sad apprehension of the danger of rending and dividing the godly Protestant party in this Kingdome, &c. •…or the weight of each, have not had power with us to a deep silence and forbearance, but our own interests have much provailed with us to occasion much disturbance among the people. Brethren what is this you write in this Section? how can you write it? Have not some of you, nor any of you, no not in the least attempted to make a party? What have your spirits been so remote from such dispositions and aimes, that on the contrary you call God and •…on to witnesse your constant forbearance either to publish your opinions by preaching, Page  215 o•… to print any thing of your own or others, for the vindication of your selves, or to all for your selves or way? What have you kept a deep silence and forbearance? What have not all your own inte∣rests prevailed with you, to occasion the least disturbance amongst the people? As for God, who is called to witnesse by you, without great repentance for these words, he will be a swift witnesse a∣gainst you; Mal. 3. 5. And as for men, whom you call also to witnesse, I being one, and therefore being called out by your selves to witnesse, I must speake being called unto it; and I entreate you blame not me for witnessing and speaking the truth, declaring what I know of your preaching, &c, but thanke your selves who have called me to it: And being thus called, I should sin against God, and the truth, If I should not speake the truth, and the whole truth, (so farre as I know and have been from good hands infor∣med;) and yet I will speake nothing but what I beleeve to be truth: I doe therefore contrary (to what you call God and men to witnesse unto) charge you with these following particulars.

First, All of you have not constantly forborne to publish your opinions by preaching, but you have vented your principles and opinions, by preaching, sometimes more generally and covertly, (yet so as your followers understand you,) and sometimes parti∣cularly and plainly: In a more generall and covert way, you have done it often, under preaching for purity of Ordinances, the stan∣ding for the Kingly office of Christ, the being in a Church-way, the performing of all ordinances in the due and right or∣der, &c. wherein you doe for your way just as the Malignant Ministers preach against the Parliament and for the Cavaliers, un∣der generalities, by preaching against Rebellion, and fighting a∣gainst the King, and rising up against him, and for peace, &c. (which the Malignants understand well enough, and flock to them upon it;) And so more particularly, fully and plainly, you have preached for your way, for instance, Mr Simpson, (one of the Apologists,) hath frequently, and did constantly (for one space) in many Le∣ctures at Black-friers, (more especially on that Text, Psal. 119. 6. Then shall I not be ashamed, when I have respect unto all thy Commandements:) preach for his opinions and way, and did an∣swer many objectious against their Church-way, pleading strongly Page  216 for it; and for pretended liberty of conscience and tolera∣tion: So on Fishstreet-hill, on that Text of Rom. 12. 2. That ye may prove what is that good, that acceptable and perfect will of God: he preached largely for his Church-way, and propounded and resolved nine Questions about it: And at *Westminster also, in Sermons preached there, he had many passages for the Church-way, as for Toleration, as for the matter of their Church, visible Saints, &c. Mr Burroughs another of the Apologists, hath pub∣lished his opinions by preaching, and hath preached for his way, at Mildreds-Breadstreet, on that Text, Gal. 5. 1. preaching against Nationall Churches under the new Testament, and for the way of their particular Churches. Mr Burroughs, before the Lord Major and Aldermen in his publike Sermon at Easter, preached for toleration of all Sects and opinions, (so they were not against fundamentals in doctrine, and the fundamentals of civill govern∣ment:) and he hath frequently in his Lectures at Michael Corn∣hill, (some of which are since printed) preached for their way; besides what he may have preached at Stepny and elsewhere, (of which I have not yet sufficiently informed my selfe as to be able to prove it.) Mr Bridge, another of these Apologists, in a Sermon at Westminster in the first yeare of the Parliaments sitting, before many Parliament men, had up that Mat. 18. Goe tell the Church; but Christ does not send them from that Church to another Church, &c. So in his Sermon before the Honorable House of Com∣mons, * (preached about a moneth before this Apologie came forth) there are severall passages for the Church-way. And in his Ser∣mon called Babylons downfall, preached before sundry of the House of Commons, there are passages for the Church-way, page 13, 15. In London also at the Bridge-foote, he hath preached se∣verall things tending that way; particularly, about the people, being Gods porters to let the Ministers into the Church, and how no men come in truly called but they. In the Countrey too, he hath preached for his way (as I have been enformed by a good hand,) both at Norwich, and at Ipswich: But if it be asked what he hath done at Yarmouth, I shall in my Rejoynder give you a full account of him there, (being not yet so well prepared for that.) Mr Goodwin, another of the Apologists, hath preached and publi∣shed Page  217 his opinions (on that Text, Ephes. 1. 22, 23.) at large, for no other visible Ministeriall Church, but a particular Congrega∣tion, with his reasons for it; (though that Text speakes of the Church, in statu mistico, and not of an instituted particular Church:) and so at Westminster, in his first Sermon, preached be∣fore many of the House of Commons, he had passages of Christs Kingly office, and the government of the Church, clearely for this way, and against the Presbyterians. So in his Sermon preached before the House of Commons, cal'd Zer•…bbabels Encourage∣ment, there are many things for the Church-way, pag. 18. and from page 29. to page 44. (which though they be but generals) yet in the Epistle before the sermon it is confessed they be for that way. As for Mr Nye, he having lived a great part of his time since his returne into England in Noblemens families, and in Yorkeshire, and having preached little in the Parishes here in London, I cannot proove that he hath published his opinions by preaching particu∣larly for them: But whether Mr Nye hath not acted the State-pa∣rasite and played the polititian the more, and dealing in private, un∣der hand, and hand to hand with some men of note for the Church-way, and against the government of the Church of Scotland, and particularly at Hull, (as I have some ground for what I write,) so I appeale to his conscience, and intreate him to rub up his me∣mory whom he hath conferred with about these points: but though I cannot prove Mr Nye hath published his opinions by preaching, yet Mr Nye affirming this not only for himselfe, but for all the rest, speaking not only in his own name, but in the name of the other Apologists too, we call God and men to witnesse our constant forbearance either to publish our opinions by preaching, &c. whether according to that second question in page 14, of this Antapologie, is not he guilty also, and may here be justly charged with writing of an untruth. But let me aske you, though you say you have not published your opinions by preaching, doe you not understand it by preaching in pulpits? (for I find it in the parenthesis referred to pulpits) but whether all of you, or some of you have not published your opinions by preaching out of pulpits, at Tables, and in chambers in your Church meetings, and in houses where some of you have exercised before supper, when friends and Page  218 company have been invited, (which is an acting for your selves and way,) I referre to your consciences to consider of: only I must tell you, that I have it from a sure hand, of no worse ranke of men, then of the Ministery, and of no flighter sort of witnesse then an care witnesse, that things about the Church-way, have been often so preached in houses; and in particular, I aske Mr Bridge, whe∣ther it be not so? but if it be answer'd by you, (for the avoiding this imputation fastned on you) of calling God and men to wit∣nesse an untruth, that your words doe not import a totall forbea∣rance of preaching your opinions, neither doe you meane, that you never preached them; but a constant forbearance, that is, you did for the greater part forbeare in the constant course of your Mini∣stery to preach of these points: I reply, your words cannot bare that sense, neither doth, nor can such a meaning agree with your words going before and following after, nor with the scope and intent of this Section: For the words which goe before, of our spirits remote from such dispositions and aimes, are in reference to these words in the former Section, not in the least attempting to make and encrease a party: and for the words following (to∣wards the end of this present Section) namely, this deepe silence and forbearance, so as not to occasion the least disturbance a∣mongst the people, and bearing all with a quiet and strong patience, they referre to this passage of calling God and men to witnesse our constant forbearance, either to publish our opinions by preaching, &c. Now how can it be a deepe silence and forbearance not to occasion the least disturbance amongst the people, and a quiet and strong patience to beare all, whenas you did preach often of those points, though you might oftner forbeare? and I aske you, whe∣ther Sermons now and then preached of the opinions, was not an attempting to make and encrease a party, and that more then in the least? as also, whether some Sermons (though but now and then) would not occasion the least disturbance among the people? But besides the scope and intent of this whole Section, being to shew that you did not take advantage to make and increase a par∣ty, with the laying downe the Reasons and grounds of your forbea∣rance, which are all against such a glosse and sense, your words of a constant forbearance to publish your opinions by preaching, can∣not Page  219 be understood of publishing your opinions now and then by preaching, though you did oftner preach upon other subjects, for preaching now and then would be in the least an attempting to make and encrease a party, and preaching now and then could not be a deepe silence and forbearance, and some Sermons would be the beginning of strife, and would be a meanes of rending and dividing the godly Protestant party in this Kingdome; Besides, the instant and continuall advices of Parliament men to you, were not that you would not for the most part preach of your opinions, but not at all, namely, to forbeare what might any way be like to occasion or augment this unhappy difference and your ingagement to the Ministers of silence, was not partiall or for the most part not to preach of those points, but it was totall, not to preach of them at all: And further, Constant forbearance to pub∣lish your opinions by preaching, must have the same construction as it hath in those words, printing any thing of your owne or others, for the vindication of your selves, or acting for your selves and way: both which, (especially that of printing) must necessarily be understood of a totall forbearance; for I suppose you doe not understand by those words, printing any thing, that you did not print so many books of your own, or others, as you could, and might have done, only a few books were now and then printed by you for your way, you would not have us put such an interpretation upon that part which concernes printing; so neither can it be upon that of preaching; and in a word, Con∣stant, is not a Diminutive, (as such a glosse would make it,) but an Augmentative, (as we use to say,) a constant friend, and a constant preacher; and yet according to this sense, (which yet is against all Grammer, and against the Analysis and scope of this Section) some of you cannot evade, as Mr Simpson, Mr Bur∣roughs, Mr Bridge, who in severall Churches, and upon severall texts, have frequently, sometimes in generall and more darkely, and sometimes more plainely and particularly, published their opinions by preaching: And if any of these Apologists shall in their Reply either deny or put off any of the particulars I have charged them with in point of preaching, (as being not a publishing their opi∣nions, nor points of the Church-way,) I will in my Rejoinder Page  220 (God sparing me life and health) print at large the particulars preached by them, and then the Reader shall judge (which now I omit least my booke should be too great.)

2. All of you have not forborne to print any thing of your own, for your opinions and wayes: For Mr Bridge, Mr Simpson and Mr Burroughs, have printed Sermons and Expositions of their own, wherein are severall things about the Church-way; as is to be seen in Mr Burroughs Exposition on the three first Chapters of Hosea, 1. Lecture on Hos. 2. 1, 2. pag. 224, 225. 7. Lect. on Hos. 1. 11. pag. 173. 5. Lect. on Hos. 1. 10. pag. 134, 141. 3. Lect. on Hos. 2. pag. 288. 13. Lect. on Hos. 2. 15. and in many other places of those expositions, passages are sprinckled for the Church-way. And in Mr Simpsons Sermons, called Reformations Preservatiō, on Isa. 4. the latter part of the fifth verse, and on Prov. 8. 15, 16. and in Mr Bridges Sermons, called Babylons Downfall, and that on Zech. chap. 1. ver. 18, 19, 20, 21. But supposing you had wholly forborne printing any thing of your own, you might well have done it out of policie, and yet your way not have suffered by it; so many books, and little Pamphlets having been printed, and reprinted since this Parliament for the Church-way, as amounts to the num∣ber (I thinke) of almost one hundred: And I aske of you, whe∣ther one or more of you, have not had a hand in perusing and ex∣amining some books of others, or in counselling and consenting to the printing of them, (especially some books from out of New-England, and particularly of Mr Cottons.)

3. Neither I, nor many other Ministers, are not satisfied of the truth of those words, That you have not acted for your selves and way: which words, as here brought in by you, must be understood, of acting, as distinct from preaching and printing, that is, as you have not published your opinions by preaching, so you have not by other wayes and meanes acted for your selves or way: as in making friends, or in mooving any Parliament men, or in consul∣ting together what to doe about your way; no, alas good men, you have kept your houses close, and followed your studies hard, and seldome gone to Westminster, but have left the businesse of Independencie and the Church-way▪ to God wholly, leaving him to take care of his own way and cause. Brethren, how dare you Page  221 write thus? if you have not acted for your selves and way since your returnes into England, and improoved your time well too, most who know you, are much deceived in you, and strangely mi∣staken: And suffer me to deale plainely with you, I am perswa∣ded, (that setting aside the Jesuites acting for themselves and way) you Five have acted for your selves and way, both by your selves, and by your instruments, both upon the stage, and behind the curtaine, (considering circumstances, and laying all things toge∣ther) more then any five men have done in so short a time this 60 yeares: and if it be not so, whence have come all the swarmes and troopes of Independents in Ministery, Armies, City, Countrey, Gentry, and amongst the common people of all sorts, men, wo∣men, servants, children: have not you five had the greatest influ∣ence to cause this? who have wrought so many Ministers, Gentle∣men and people to your way? can it be in Reason thought all this is come about without your acting for your selves and way? is the peoples golden Calfe of Independencie and Democracie come out of it selfe, without Aarons making it? And whether you five have * not acted for your selves & way since this Parliament? I desire you to answer these questions, and then according to the truth of those questions let your consciences judge of the truth of these words.

1. Whether came not you over into England, and left your Churches in Holland with their leave, or rather being sent as Mes∣sengers to negotiate for your way, and for a Toleration of some Churches to enjoy Independent government, that is, a full, entire, compleate power within your selves.

2. When you were come over, did you not in the first yeare of the Parliaments sitting, consult together, and debate about a Peti∣tion, and was there not one drawne to be presented to the House of Commons for a Toleration of some Congregations to enjoy a Con∣gregationall government.

3. Have you not beene all along from your first comming over into England, to the writing of this present Apologie, intent and watchfull upon every thing in agitation, or about to passe in matters of Religion, that might make though but remotely for Presbyteriall government, and might (though but by a remote consequence and at a distance) touch upon or Page  222 prejudice your Church way: As for instance, about the time of passing a Bill in the House of Commons against Episcopacy, and of consultation and debate what should be in the interim, till ano∣ther Government could be setled, were not you zealous and active against that advice and counsell of a certaine number of grave Mi∣nisters in each County to be substituted for the time, (out of your feare of having but a shadow of Presbyterian governement, though but pro tempore) and how much you worked in that, with some of place, and what the issue of that was, you may remember: So upon thoughts and consultations (since this warre, of entring into a Covenant) and some Ministers being advised with, whether did not some of you stand for a clause to be inserted in the Covenant for liberty to tender consciences, and for want of such a clause, (that being opposed by some,) how long it was layed aside, &c. I desire you to remember. Againe, about the beginning of the Assembly, in the review and examination of of some of the Articles of Religion, and in the propoun∣ding but some orders to have been agreed on about the way of managing the Disputes and Debates in the Assembly, how tender have you been of any thing tending but to Presbytery, and that might (though but indirectly) reflect upon any of your Principles.

4. Have not some of you, (though may be not all) acted for your selves and way by constant Church meetings on the Lords day, in private houses preaching the word and administring the Sacra∣ments even in the times of the publike Assemblies, where besides your own Church members, have resorted to your meetings many other persons, some members of Churches in New-England, and others belonging to the Church of England, and whereas Mr Simpson was a Minister of a Church at Rotterdam (which Church is still there) hath not Mr Simpson since his returne well acted for himselfe and his way, in getting such a rich and numerous Church, consisting of so many Gentlemen and Gentlewomen, rich Citi∣zens, rich Virgins, &c. and hath not Mr Goodwin acted for himself and way, and at least in the least attempted to encrease a party, when besides those of his Church at Arnheim, that came over from thence, there are others here in London have gone to his Church Page  223 meetings, and there are some, if not actually members (the cere∣mony may be being forborne that it may be said he hath added none to his Church) yet are Competentes Candidati Probationers, members in fieri, with their faces to Zion, and reputed members actually by them of nearest Relations and Co-habitations, (as I am credibly enformed) but must name none to prevent differen∣ces in neere Relations.

5. Have not some of you, if not all of you acted for your selves and way, in actually speaking, and moving some Parliament men to stand for you and for a Toleration of your Church way, and have you not been answered, shew us your grounds, let us know what you hold, and what you would have, and then you shall see that shall be done which is sitting; and out of zeale of acting for your selves and way, have not some of you suggested in private to Parliament men, the prejudice of their Parliamentary power, if they should admit of the Government of the Church of Scotland; pleading also for a necessity of a Toleration, and in particular I aske Mr Nye if he remember no such discourses, and that at Hull too.

6. Whether have not some of you, if not all, out of acting for your selves and way, hindred all that •…lay in you, the sending for our brethren of Scotland to come to our help? and whether have not some of you much pleaded against sen∣ding for them in? and objected (as the Malignants doe) of the danger of their comming in, &c? and whether in as much as lay in you, did not you so act for your owne opinions and Church way that you would have hazarded the Kingdome, Religi∣on, and all, rather then the losse of your Independencie, which you knew the Scots were so averse unto?

7. Whether have not some of you in Conferences with many good people, and by discourses in private, ac•…ed for your selves and way, by stumbling them in the point of a particular Church, and in the point of coming to the Sacrament of the Lords Supper, and by pleading for a Toleration of all opinions (that may stand with sa∣ving Grace) and doth none of you remember what was answered you? that Polig•…mie might stand with saving Grace; and must that be tolerated?

Page  224 8. Whether have not some of you tampered with some Parlia∣ment men about delaying the meeting of the Assembly, and sug∣gesting to them doubts and feares about it? and whether in the Assembly have you not by all possible wayes both in opposing some orders of speaking but so many times to one point (the soo∣ner to bring things to an end) and by other wayes all that you could delaied the proceedings of the Assembly, and all this out of acting for your selves and way, that so your party might increase, and your opinions spread before the Government might be setled.

9. Have not some of you out of acting for your selves and way endeavoured the bringing into the Assembly (since the sitting of it) some Independents to be members of it, and upon their being stopped, have not some of you earnestly dealt with some mem∣bers of the House of Commons that they might passe their House? and what could this be but out of acting for your selves and way?

10. Whether have not you out of acting for your selves and way, had many meetings and consultations both of writing let∣ters into New-England for their help and furtherance, and about what you should doe, and how to order matters since the Scots must be sent for, and since the Assembly could not be hindred, how things might be managed and carried for the best advantage of your cause and way? and whether was not this Apologeticall Narration one of the Products of your consultations? Now unto these ten I might adde other Quaeres, but shall reserve them to my Rejoynder, these being sufficient to satisfie you and the Reader: So that laying all these things together, what did you meane or thinke with your selves when you writ•… these passages? could you imagine you danced in a net all this time, and that men tooke no notice of you, or that all had been forgotten that you had done and preacht? or did you imagine your power was so great with the people (having such a name) that all would be taken for truth you writ, or that your greatnesse was such that no man durst que∣stion what you had done, or appeare against your Apologie, (or if they did they should but blast themselves among the people, and the people would believe nothing against you,) what strange spi∣rit possessed you to write thus? For my part, I feare not my name (I have learned to trust God with it,) and I dare (by the Grace Page  225 and helpe of Gods Spirit) deale with you, and all of you in these Controversies: But supposing all you affirme of your selves had been true, eujus contrarium verum est (as is too evident by what I have proved) that you had neither preached, printed, nor acted personally for your selves, and way, yet all this forbearance might have been not from the grounds and reasons brought by you in this Section, but from other principles of wisdome and policie, as the more to ingratiate your selves with the Houses of Parliament, and to insinuate into their favour, and that you might the better make such an Apologie as this, and make use of it to your advantage at such a time as this, and I judge such considerations have restrained some of you, and prevailed with you, not to act so much as your fellowes, and not so openly (as otherwise you would) especially knowing whilest you were in the Tyring-house unseene, the Scene was full, and the Tragedie went on, there being no want of Actors on the open Stage to carry on your Church way: As for instance Mr W. Mr P. Mr K. Mr B. Dr H. Mr L. Mr G. Mr C. Mr B. Mr P. Mr G. Mr W. Mr W. S. Mr C. Mr E. Mr C. Mr A. Mr L. cum mul∣tis aliis, of whose preachings, and acting for themselves and way in gathering of Churches, &c. and of books made by some of them, and printed by others of them; it would fill a book to enumerate particulars, and to declare what hath been done in Citie, Coun∣trey, Armies, and in all places to make and increase parties, and to occasion so great disturbance amongst all sorts, as that it will be found a hard worke to settle the Government of the Church, and to reduce the people. And I confesse you having such choice of Instruments and under-wor•…men to work by, and to build your Babel, I marvell you contented not your selves with onely casting the Modell, and giving the pattern and aime to others, but that you should appeare upon the workes your selves (as often-times you did.)

To your second main part in this Section, the Provocations you have had all sorts of wayes to have preached, printed, and acted for your selves both by the Common misunderstandings and misre∣presentations of your opinions and practises, &c. I must tell you, I judge, and that upon good grounds, never men laying all things together, consideratis considerandis, had fewer provocations, for Page  226 considering you were but a few in comparison, and going in a new different way from all the Reformed Churches, and the de∣structivenesse of your principles to Reformation, with the danger of them in drawing away and stealing our sheep from us, and the contempt of our Ministerie (occasioned by your principles) among all the people generally of your way, as also your leaving the land in the greatest need; notwithstanding all these and many more that all the godly Ministers of City, and Countrey should carry them∣selves towards you with that love, respect, fairnesse, brotherly kindnesse, as they did, might have provoked you indeed, but in another way then you expresse it: And for the truth of this I appeale to your owne breasts, and to the knowledge of my bre∣thren, and to these following demonstrations. 1. There was a great deale of loving respects, and faire carriage towards you, both in admitting you into their Pulpits, and in forbearing all things offensive to you, and your party before the Sermons, to gratifie you. 2. There was a great deale of faire respects to you in ad∣mitting you into their Societie, and publique meetings about the matters of Reformation. 3. There was a generall silence by the Godly Ministers, (I feare unto sinfull) in forbearing preaching against your points, and that when some of you preached for your way and many Pamphlets were printed for it. 4. The Ministers suffered some of you, and no wayes interposed to hinder you from being the universall Lecturers of the Citie, who if they had appea∣red against you might have crossed it. 5. The Ministers cour∣ted you by all wayes of respect, and of high entertainment of you in loving speech, friendly countenance, familiar conversing with you, giving you the right hand of fellowship, and in a brotherly intreating you, not to appeare for your way, that so our differences might not hinder the worke of Reformation, with∣all promising you when they had obtained the Reformation de∣sired, they should be ready to gratifie you all they could, and to consider you as godly Brethren. 6. Upon the Proposition and motion of silence about the points in difference, the Ministers were most ready and willing to enter into a strict engagement with you, and that though some of your way had been before hand with them in venting your principles amongst the people. Page  227 7. There hath been much tendernesse expressed towards you, and readinesse of yeelding to you all along (the more to win you, to prevent an open breach, and to stop peoples mouthes) and parti∣cularly in the Assembly of Divines, where that patience, long∣suffering, forbearing hath been exercised towards you, in your of∣ten and long speaking upon points, in speaking the same things over and over againe, &c. as would hardly have been towards any others, and I may truly speake it, many of our Ministers have not carried themselves towards one another with that love and respect as they have done to you. 8. The Ministers have in honour pre∣ferred you before themselves, and have been contented (in a good sense) to let you increase and they to decrease, and could be so contented still for Gods glory and the good of the Church. But I will particularly answer to your Provocations here alleaged, and shew you, that they were no Provocations to have caused you, to make and increase a party by preaching, &c.

For the 1. the common misunderstandings and mis-represen∣tations of your opinions and practises was not a sufficient provo∣cation to preaching, &c. 1. because many of those mists were scat∣tered by your presence againe without speaking a word for your selves or cause, and therefore needed not neither preaching, prin∣ting, nor acting for your selves and way. 2. You may justly thanke your selves for the misunderstandings of your opinions, and practises, carrying them so in the dark, and putting off from time to time a Narrative of your opinions and wayes (thoug•… so earnestly desired by the Godly Ministers, and you sent unto so so∣lemnly for it, as also promised by you often,) so that it was no fault at all in the standers by to misunderstand or mistake some things in your opinions and practises (especially being new, strange, and hidden too.) 3. Although you speake thus, that your opini∣ons and wayes were misunderstood, and misrepresented (that being one of your usuall Artifices to delude with, and to keep off argu∣ments brought against you) yet I doe not know any opinion or practise of yours misunderstood and misrepresented, I know none that was written against, or father'd on you, but what was either to be found in some of your Manuscripts, &c. (but of this I have spoken before.)

Page  228 For the second Provocation, the Incitements to this State not to allow you the peaceable practises of your Consciences, which the Reformed Churches abroad allowed you, and these edged with Calumnies and reproaches cast upon your persons in print. I suppose in this you meane that booke written by me, entituled Reasons against Independent Government and against the Tole∣ration of it, presented to the House of Commons; for as for any other book of that nature I remember none, besides you commend the other bookes written against your way and Tenets, page 15. Now that booke gives Reasons and Grounds for what it writes against, and you should have done well (either any one of you, or all of you) to have answered it, and had you shewed those Rea∣sons to have been weake and unjust, then there had been some co∣lour for you to have made that a Provocation to have acted for your selves and way, but by your silence you seeme to give con∣sent to what was written against you. But how ever (though I writ both against your Government, and the Toleration of it in this kingdome,) yet not against the peaceable practises of your Consciences, but the unpeaceable practise of them (as you would order matters in England:) For I spent some leaves in that book to allow you the peaceable practise of your consciences, and chaul∣ked * you out a way, even with the saving of your principles (for which you have cause to thanke me.) As for my incitement to the State, it was not to persecution against you, for * I laid downe a clear medium betweene persecution and a Toleration: As for that passage, which the Reformed Churches abroad allowed us; I have already answered that at large in my former booke, and I * will here adde another Answer to those I gave then; the reformed Churches abroad might safelier allow you the liberty of your con∣sciences there, then this State can; for there being strangers, you and your Churches looked for nothing else, you looked not to enjoy the priviledges of offices, places in Church and Common-wealth, not to be in the ranke of States, Burgomasters, &c. but here in Eng∣land you Independents will look for the like priviledges that others enjoy, as to be Majors of Townes, chosen Burgesses and Knights for Parliament, &c. whereby you will have a mighty influence and ad∣vantages to countenance and promote your way, and make par∣ties Page  229 every where (which must needs be of dangerous consequence to this State.) Now for those words, and these edged with ca∣lumnies and reproaches cast upon our persons in print. I answer, let the whole booke be perused, and let the Reader judge if the first part of the book consisting of the Reasons against Indepen∣dent government be not wholly argumentative, (containing no∣thing personall, but rationall,) and for the second part, the Rea∣sons against the Toleration, let it be examined whether that be not rationall also, and in many pages as full of yealding and sweetnesse as can well be with the keeping of peace and truth, and could be expected in such a difference of judgement; And whether also I give not in severall passages of that book to Ministers of that way, due respects, and fitting termes, only in one page of the book, in answering a popular Reason of yours for a Toleration (which I * had from one of your own mouthes) I gave a popular answer sui∣table to the Argument, (but so as without either foule or rayling language.) 2. I named you not, but spake as of many of your Mi∣nisters, why doe you then appropriate it to your selves? and I can truly speake it, that for one of you five to whom application is made more especially of some thing there written, I did not so much as meane or intend him, but doe openly acquit him, and dis∣claime it. I deny that any words or phrases in that book, spoken of those persons I intended them to, are calumnies, there is not a word but is true, and many can and doe witnesse so much, (who yet wish the passage had been left out, because▪ then all pretence of exceptions and cavill against the book had been taken away,) and for the reproaches you speake of, (which are a matter of truth) they are rather upon the opinions and principles, then the persons, comming to the persons from the opinions and principles received; And for my own part, I never wished that passage had been left out, for I know no reason, but when people fall into a way, because of the pretence of the great holinesse and grace of the men of that way, when those be the Arguments that take and de∣ceive the people, but it is the duty of him who would preserve from the errour of that way, to shew the contrary effects (if he can,) and what did I doe more?

For the third provocation, all these heightned with this further Page  228 prejudice and provocation that our silence was interpreted that we were either ashamed of our opinions or able to say little for them. I conceive that in this you may aime at me (as in the for∣mer) and I ingenuously confesse that your silence in not an∣swering bookes, and particularly mine was interpreted so by me, and I have spoken to some, and spake it (even while it was gi∣ven out by some of you it should be answered,) that you would not answer it for two Reasons. 1. Because you were not yet willing to make known your opinions, what you held, and what not, (the answer to which booke would necessarily have drawn out what you were not then willing to speake, nor yet doe in this Apologie.) 2. Because being accounted Schollars, if you did not answer it fully, and to purpose, you would rather loose then gaine, in a word, I thought you could not answer it satisfy∣ingly, neither were you willing to impart your opinions publike∣ly, so as they might be fastned on, that these are your opinions, so that considering how ready you have been in pulpits, and with the people (whom you might probably gaine) to vent your opinions, speaking where you should have been silent, and being silent when you have been desired by the Ministers (who understand contro∣versies as well as your selves) and never answering any books writ∣ten against your way, nor laying down neither in writing, nor by printing what you held with your grounds in a Scholasticall way, did give me and many others cause to interpret that kind of silence and reservednesse, to spring either from your being ashamed of your opinions, or from being able to say little for them: And if you answer not this Antapologie, I shall be like enough to interpret your silence, that either you are ashamed of some of your opi∣nions, or able to say little for them.

For the fourth provocation, Whenas on the other side (be∣sides all other advantages▪) books have been written by men of much worth, learning and authority, with moderation and strength, to prepossesse the peoples minds against what are suppo∣sed our Tenets. I answer, 1. You should have done well to have named what all other advantages our side had of you which might have provoked you to preach, print and act for your selves and way: You confesse in the last Section, page 24. You had ma∣nifold Page  229 advantages to make and increase a party: but I know not what advantages were on our side, or if we had, that they were ta∣ken by us against you, wherby you have any just ground to set out your patience in not being provoked. 2. You should have done well to have answered the books, written by men of much worth, lear∣ning and authority, with moderation and strength; (though you answered not mine) and no man would have blamed you for that, but all men expected it, and blame you rather, for declining all those wayes of disputes, and of stating the points in difference be∣tween you and the Ministers, and dealing in popular wayes, and under-board with the people, who were ready to take any impres∣sion, and to be cast into any mould that had but the appearance of a stricter way. 3. If the bookes written by men of much worth, learning and authority, with moderation and strength, were but against your supposed Tenets, (as you say) and not your Tenets indeed, you not being named, nor personated in them, this was no such provocation to you to publish your opinions by preaching, printing, and to act for your selves or way: A cleare conscience might have sleighted them, and ingenuous men might in a few leaves, have clearely disclaimed all those points as not holding them, and there had been an end of all controversie. 4. I cannot let passe under this fourth provocation, that expression of yours, against what are supposed our Tenets, a usuall artifice of you and yourfollowers, that when any thing is written strongly against your way, which you know not how, nor never meane to awswer, you put it off with this, The question is mistaken, we hold not so, we hold otherwise: the answer you have given to all our books writ∣ten by men of much worth, &c. the way the Arminians used to put off the learned answers made to their books, and the Tractates written by our Divines against their opinions, a very Jesuiticall device, and most unworthy of men professing conscience and pi∣ety, (in which expression of Jesuiticall, I intreat the Reader not to mistake me, as if I cal'd the Apologists so, or would ranke them in the forme of Jesuits, no I intend not that at all, but meerely to shew this way is not faire, as being the practise of Arminians and Jesuits, and so becomes not good men, as I judge the Apolo∣gists are.) But let the Reader judge, can it be thought, that all the Page  232 bookes written since this Parliament by men of much worth, lear∣ning and authority; with moderation and strength, should be against you, upon supposed Tenets? that they should all fight with their own shadowes, and set up a man of cloutes, and beate him with strength, to suppose you to hold such Tenets which you doe not; what an imputation is this upon all who have written on these points? how does this imply a contradiction in the words and expressions used by your selves? that they should be men of much worth, learning, &c. and yet write against what are supposed your Tenets: this argued not much worth, nor strength in them; and suffer me here to vindicate those worthy men who have written of late against Independency and for combined Pres∣bytery and Synods, that they write not against what are suppo∣sed your Tenets, but what are your Tenets really: Can it be thought that the learned Divines of Holland, as Mr Paget, who being exercised with Mr Davenport, Mr Hooker and others of your way upon the points, in many Conferences, and afterwards writ a book on purpose upon those points, should write against sup∣posed Tenets, and that the most learned Voetius living in Holland, and having spoken with many of your way, yea with some of you (if I mistake not,) and writing so lately upon these points, upon the occasion of the newnesse of the controversie, should so mistake; or that the two reverend and learned Divines of Scotland, set∣ting forth bookes chiefely upon the occasion of your dissents; (the first Divine having been in England so long in the first yeare of the Parliaments sitting, and having had discourse with some of you upon the points, and the later Mr Rutherford, being so able a man and so well versed in the controversie) should conspire to prepossesse the peoples minds against what are supposed your Te∣nets: But if all these should have mistaken, that yet one of your owne Divines who writ more lately with much learning and in∣genuity (as your selves confesse,) and your Licenser too, should fasten upon you supposed Tenets, seemes strange: But the best is, we have your selves confessing in the 15. page of your Apologie, that these Divines of Holland, Scotland and England, have writ∣ten against your Tenets and government, directly, setly and with strength: and how could Mr Herles booke against Independency Page  233 be written with much ingenuity, if he had prepossessed the peoples minds against what are supposed your Tenets, but are not so in∣deed: And however, though neither my selfe, nor my book against Independent governement are not in the number of the men and books of much worth and learning, written with moderation and strength; yet it is probable those Reasons against Independent governement and Toleration, troubles you as much as any other booke written, and may be more aimed at by you in this passage then other books, and therefore, to free my selfe, I have not ass•…r∣ted any thing in that book as your Tenet, but what I have good reason to beleeve you have held: and I can produce it, either as your known practise, or out of some Manuscripts that goe under some of your names; or from your own mouthes, or some inti∣mate familiars of yours: so that unlesse according to your second great principle in the 10th page, you have altered and retracted within these few yeares what six or seven yeares ago you held, the peoples minds have not been propossest by me with what are your supposed Tenets, but with your reall Tenets: & I desire you in your Reply, to give any instances to the contrary: And that neither I nor others may not write against your supposed Tenets any longer, I doe beleech you for the glory of God & the peace of the Church, to set downe positively and plainely all your Tenets, wherein you differ from the reformed Churches and the Reformation likely to be set∣led, and that with the grounds of them, or without the grounds, (if your other occasions will not allow you time) and I do promise you by the help of God, in a short convenient time (without any thing personall or matter of fact) to give you a direct answer from Scripture and reasons grounded thereupon, whereby we may un∣derstand one another the better, and bring this sad controversie be∣tween bretheren to an end the sooner. 5. We, who have written any thing against your way, have not so much prepossessed the peo∣ples minds against your Tenets, as laboured to dispossesse them: we have all played the after-game too much, you the fore-game; you and your party have prepossessed the peoples minds with your principles, and have fil'd the City and Kingdome with your Te∣nets, and you have been on the prepossessing hand, filling many Par∣liament mens ear•…s, and the peoples minds against Presbyteriall Page  232〈1 page duplicate〉Page  233〈1 page duplicate〉Page  234 government, and instilling into them, things but supposed against that government, (as not giving enough to the power of the civill Magistrate:) It would grieve an ingenious and conscientious man, to see where ever one comes, how many good people of the King∣dome are prepossessed by being prejudiced against Presbyteriall go∣vernment, that it will be worse then the Hierarchy, and more tira∣nicall to the consciences and liberties of the people, with such like: There was therefore, and is much need to cast out these Devils, and to unpossesse the people possessed, and by preaching, conference and writing, to preserve such who are not yet possest, and to prepossesse them with truth, because such is the nature of your errours, that hither to few who take hold of them ever returne; like Goodwin sands, that if a ship once strike upon them, there is no fetching her off: or as poison, which is hardly expelled, if once it be diffused through the body.

3. For the grounds and reasons of your pretended deepe silence, and forbearance of venting your opinions to the multitude, I grant they are well summed up by you, and I wish they had wrought as well with you to a deepe silence and forbearance; but whatever you say of the conscience and consideration of all these, and the weight of each, to have had such a power with you hither∣to, the contrary hath been prooved, and I am ready yet further to make it good; and will upon your Reply to this Answer say a great deale more. But now I must come to examine each of your grounds apart; which you say wrought upon you not to attempt in the least to make a party or to act for your selves or way.

1. But we knew and considered, that it was the second blow that makes the quarrell, and that the beginning of strife would have beene as the breaking in of waters, and the sad and consci∣entious apprehension of the danger of rending and dividing the godly Protestant party in this Kingdome, that were desirous of Reformation, and of making severall interests among them, when there was an absolute necessity of their neerest union and conjun∣ction, &c.

I answer, It is spoken like an Oracle, and might indeed have wrought upon you to a burying of your opinions, to a totall for∣bearance of them for a time, and to have spent your time in a Page  235 conjuring all the Ministers and people of your way, not to have spoken a word, not to have appeared in the least for those points till the Reformation intended had been effected; but brethren, was it practised by you as well as it is here spoken? I beseech you, let your consciences answer, and in coole blood, (laying aside all particular interests, passion, prejudice,) consider whether it be not by your meanes, or by some of you more especially who writ this, that the godly Protestant party of this Kingdome desirous of a reformation, is rent and divided, and have severall interests mong them in a time when there was an absolute necessity of their nec∣rest union and conjunction, and all little enough to eff•…ct that Re∣formation intended: Have not some of your Sermons? have not the practises of some of you in assembling in private houses, and in the gathering of many to your Churches? have not your discour∣ses and conferences with some Ministers and well affect•…d people upon your points? (with many other things that I could name) been a great cause of rending and dividing the godly Protestant party, and of much distracting them, and of making severall inte∣rests? Whence have come all the rents and divisions (to speake of) in the godly Protestant party, all the •…ets, stopps and delayes in the intended Reformation, but from you and by occasion and meanes of you? The authority of your names holding these opinions (ha∣ving the reputation of Schollars, and of excellent Preachers,) whereby you are cryed up of many, and so much followed; your interest, and favour in too many considerable persons have drawne so much; had it not been for your sakes, these rents and divisions had never come to this head, there had not been that connivance, nor such delayes of setling governement, &c. most of the rest of your way were in comparison contemptible both for name and gifts, and could not have done that hurt; and why then, in a time (by your own confession) of absolute necessity of the neerest union and conjunction, and all little enough to effect that Reformation intended, and so long contended for against a common adversary, that had both present possession to plead for it selfe, power to sup∣port it, and had injoyed a long continued settlement, which had rooted it in the hearts of men, have you done so much by prea∣ching and acting to rend and divide the godly protestant party? Page  236 there was no absolute necessity, just at that time when you did preach and stirre for your way, for you to have done so; affirma∣tives though they doe bind semper, yet not ad semper, there were greater truths in doctrine and in Reformation of government, which you might have preached on for that time, but there was an absolute necessity of the neerest union and conjunction: I hear∣tily with, this first Reason and ground deepely layed to heart by you, and then I know you must greatly repent for what you have done in this particular, since your returne into England; and had not God been, and were he not the more gracious, and better to us then ordinary, your carriage, and what hath been by your meanes, would have spoiled our Reformation, and hath done much to keepe the common Adversary in his present possession, and long conti∣nued settlement: but I pray God humble you for it, and forgive you; and seeing you knew and considered, that it was the second blow that makes the quarrell, and that the beginning of strife would have been as the breaking in of waters, why were you not contented with the giving of the first blow, and the first occasion of the quarrell, both by your former preaching and practising, but to adde this second great blow, the writing of this Apologeticall Narration, which though it be not on your parts the beginning of strife, yet it will prove as the breaking in of waters, and as the kindling of a fire, not likely to be put out in hast.

2. And this seconded by the instant and continuall advices and conjurements of many honourable, wise and godly Personages of both Houses of Parliament, to forbeare what might any way be like to occasion or augment this unhappy difference; They having also by their Declarations to his Majesty, professed their endea∣vour and desire to unite the Protestant party in this Kingdome that agree in fundamentall truths against Popery and other he∣resies, and to have that respect to tender consciences as might pre∣vent oppressions and inconveniences which hath formerly been.

I judge this ground seconding the former, should have been powerfull with you to a deepe silence and forbearance, every par∣ticular branch of it speaks strongly to you, to forbeare what ever might any way be like to occasion; or augment this unhappy dif∣ference; Nay almost every word in it, •…s an argument to command, Page  237The instant, and continuall advices, and conjurements of many honourable, wise, and godly Personages of both Houses of Parlia∣ment, what might not all these have wrought? and then take in also, that they had by their Declarations to His Majestie, &c. and that they would have a respect to tender Consciences; Now what could you almost have wished more, or what better securitie for your selves and way: A man would thinke all these might have commanded you, not to have acted for your selves and way, and certainly your fault was the greater in doing contrary, and you are the more inexcusable, had not this seconded the former, yet your knowledge of the first was enough to have taken ingenuous spirits, but this seconding the first, it is too bad that you went con∣trary to the instant and continuall advices, and conjurement, of many Honourable, wise and godly Personages of both Houses of Parliament. As for those passages inserted in this Reason, the Parliaments Declarations to his Majestie, professing their endea∣vour and desire to unite the Protestant party in this Kingdome that agree in fundamentall truths, and to have that respect to ten∣der Consciences, wherein you would insinuate that the Parlia∣ment had put you in some hopes of a Toleration, and that grounded upon some passages in their Declarations, had you named what Declarations speake so, I could have perused and examined them, and have returned you an answere (I questi∣on it not) from the words and sense; but to put it out of doubt, that the Parliament intends no Toleration, in such words as having respect to tender consciences, &c. I referre you to the first and great Remonstrance and Declaration of the House of Commons, wherein they declare the contrary, and ingage them∣selves to the Kingdome against it, answering to that as a Calumnie cast upon them to traduce their proceedings: They infuse into*the people that we meane to abolish all Church-Government, and leave every man to his owne fancy for the Service and Worship of God, absolving him of that obedience which he owes under God unto his Majestie, whom we know to be intrusted with the Eccle∣siasticall Law as well as with the temporall, to regulate all the members of the Church of England by such rules of Order and Discipline as are established by Parliament, which is his great Page  238 Councell in all affaires both in Church and State: And we doe here declare that it is farre from our purpose or desire to let loose the golden reynes of Discipline and Government in the Church, to leave private persons, or particular Congregations to take up what forme of Divine Service they please; for we hold it requi∣site that there should be throughout the whole Realme a Confor∣mity to that Order which the Lawes enjoyne according to the Word of God: And we desire to unburthen the Consciences of men of needlesse and superstitious Ceremonies, suppresse innova∣tions, and take away the monuments of idolatry. And the better to effect the intended Reformation, we desire there may be a ge∣nerall Synod of the most grave, pious, learned and judicious Di∣vines of this Island, assisted with some from forraine parts pro∣fessing the same Religion with us, who may consider of all things necessary for the peace and good Government of the Church, and represent the results of their Consultations unto the Parliament, to be there allowed of and confirmed, and receive the stamp of authority, thereby to find passage and obedience throughout the Kingdome. Also I referre you to Declarations both of Lords and Commons about Uniformitie in Church-Government, Wor∣ship, &c. intended by them. And for the words as you expresse them here, respect to tender Consciences, as might prevent op∣pressions and inconveniences which had formerly been; they in∣terpret themselves, implying a taking away the Ceremonies and other offensive things, and a not inforcing and injoyning Subscrip∣tions to all points in matter of Order and Externall Govern∣ment, as had formerly been: but as for Tolerating different Chur∣ches, and a different forme of Church-Government to be publike∣ly exercised, besides the established, as I doe not beleeve that to be any part of their meaning in their Declarations, so their words are expresse against it in the first Remonstrance, and in some later Declarations; besides that the Parliament well knowes a Tolerati∣on would bring in greater inconveniences to tender Consciences then can at first be imagined, and would prove a farre greater mischiefe to the Church, and to Reformation both in Doctrine and Government, then the Episcopall.

3. Together with that strict ingagement willingly entred into Page  239 by us for these common ends with the rest of our brethren of the Ministery (which though made to continue but ad placitum, yet hath been sa•…red to us:) As for this third ground alleadged by you for silence, it prevailed no more with you then the former, for notwithstanding this strict ingagement, even since that time you have both preached, and printed for your way, namely Mr Bor∣roughs▪ Mr Bridge, Mr Sympson, and Mr Goodwin, and many of the particulars formentioned have been preached since that agree∣ment, so that it seemes it hath not beene so sacred to you as you would make the Reader beleeve. But if you answer, you under∣stand that engagement entred into with the Ministers was sacred to you, and so observed as long as the agreement lasted, but the particulars instanced in preached by you were since that agree∣ment ceased by mutuall content: I answer, your words, and the scope for which they are brought joyned to the precedent passages referre to a silence, and forbearance till the time of putting forth this Apologie, and that Parenthesis, which though made to conti∣nue but ad placitum, implies so much, that though you were at li∣bertie, yet you tooke not that libertie. But secondly, I must mind you that the ground-worke laid by you, by which you would the more commend your owne silence, and moderation, namely the agreement to continue but ad placitum was not so, for it was a∣greed upon, it should continue till both sides in a full meeting did declare the contrary, and in case one side did transgresse by prea∣ching, &c. none of the other side should take liberty to doe the like, till the company was acquainted with it, and the thing pro∣ved, and the matters of difference not being taken up, the agree∣ment thereupon was declared to be null, whereupon, though some men included, and particularly named at the agreement were complained of in a full meeting to have transgressed the agree∣ment, yet it was still continued notwithstanding some breach on the Independent side, in reference to the publike union against the common enemy, and for those common ends, which was the first ground of it. 3. I desire it may be considered of by Mr Bor∣roughs Mr Sympson, and M. Bridge, whether some passages in some of their Sermons and Expositions about the Church way, will not by calculating the time when they were preached, and the Page  240 time of the engagement for silence, (namely before the formall Declaration of the Companie in a publike meeting, that the agree∣ment ceased, and that every man was left to his former libertie) be found to be preached within the compasse of the time, even before the mutuall strict engagement was declared null: And because you here give the occasion by making this mutuall strict engage∣ment between you and us one great ground of your deep silence, I shall faithfully, and impartially (to my best remembrance) relate that whole businesse of the agreement of the Ministers for silence, the truth of which many Ministers then present upon the place can testifie also: The Ministers of both sides, both they and we desi∣rous of Reformation in Church-Government, and Worship, be∣ing sensible how much our differences, and divisions might distract the Parliament, and hinder the taking away of Episcopall Govern∣ment, and the Reformation intended, in a full and great meeting consulted together upon wayes to prevent it, and by vote agreed upon these: 1. That the Godly Ministers of the Citie and Coun∣trey should continue the use of some part of the Liturgie (namely, what was best, and least offensive,) because they found that the Bishops fought under that Banner, and made use with the Gen∣trie and body of the common people to wrap up themselves in that, suggesting that the Parliament would take away the Com∣mon Prayer Booke, (which they made use of to save their owne standing, and to worke their owne ends the better.) And M. Goodwin ingenuously professed that he judged the moderate use of the Lyturgie in this juncture of things, and for a time, conduced much to the Reformation aimed at, and were his Principles as ours, that any prescribed Prayers might be used, he would use it, (and saving his Judgement about Lyturgies) his vote was to use it, whereupon there being such a generall concurrence of Judge∣ment amongst the Ministers, some one or two Ministers in the Ci∣tie who were taken notice of wholly to disuse it, and to have laid it aside in all Administrations, were sent unto from the Company of Ministers (and one of them came presently) to whom the sence of the Company was represented, and he dealt with to take it up againe, and to use some part of the Prayers in the Lyturgie, especially in the Administration of the Sacraments. Secondly, Page  241 the Ministers finding that the preaching of some Lay-men, Trades∣men, and Mechanicks in the publique Congregations was a great stone of offence in the building of the Temple, a way was agreed upon by the Ministers to deale with them, and to take them off that practise, and some of the Company (judged to be most grati∣ous and powerfull with them) were chosen by the whole to deale with them, and to acquaint them with the sense of the Mi∣nisters, and some grounds against their practise, especially at that time (though the Company of Ministers who sent; declared formally their judgement against the practise of it at all times,) Thirdly, A mutuall silence was agreed upon for both sides, both in preaching, printing, and conferring with the people, (and especially Parliament men) of any of the points in difference betweene us, but yet so that both they and we should joyne together to preach against the Anabaptists and rigid Brownists, which these Apolo∣gists promised, only they desired first to bring in a Narrative to us; of all their opinions that they held in difference, (which also they promised with all convenient speed, in a short time should be brought in, and then they would preach against them;) Now for the better keeping of the agreement, and understanding one ano∣ther, for preventing mistakes, and differences amongst us, a Com∣mittee was chosen out of the Company, some of them, and some of our side to draw up the particulars in writing, which was ac∣cordingly done, and the Agreement under the hands of both sides for our part was to be left with M. Calamie (at whose house we met,) that so if any difference did arise, or complaint come, we might recurre to the writing drawne up betweene us, and accor∣dingly doe: Now this strict engagement entred into by you with the rest of your brethren in the Ministery for common ends, brought by you here as one great ground of not attempting to make a party, and of your deepe silence and forbearance, no one thing that ever was done by you was more advantageous to your side, and to the increasing of a party, (which indeed proved as it was feared it would, and was by my selfe and some others ob∣jected as a ground against any such agreement,) for looke what came of the Declarations set out by the King (by meanes of the Bishops) that in the Arminian points there should be on both Page  242 sides a totall silence in preaching, and printing, (namely, a greater prevailing of the Arminian points, and spreading of them, but a suppressing of the Orthodox) so fell it out here, for by that meanes nothing was preached, nor printed against their way to hinder the growth of it, but in the meane time many things were preached and printed for it, our side made conscience of the promise, and forbore totally preaching and printing: For my owne part though for many Reasons I desired to have been ex∣cepted from the agreement, as being engaged by a former promise in print to set out speedily some Tractates against their way, and never did formally promise silence, yet because my brethren undertooke for me (for without my forbearing to print and preach, they would not have yeelded to the Agreement) that I might not be singular, and goe against the Judgement of all my brethren (though my Judgement was against the promise of si∣lence upon what I evidently foresaw would follow upon it, the advantage they would make by it to encrease a party) and that I might not be guilty of hindering the common ends held out, I did totally both in preaching and printing decline all those points of difference, and notwithstanding I heard and knew that some of their side preached contrary to the agreement, yet all that time, untill it was openly declared in a full Assembly the agreement was broken, and I declared I would be at freedome, and some of them said the like, I preached not upon those points, whereas in this time many of their way preached for their way both in Citie and Countrey, and some who by name were spoken of at the agreement (as Mr P. and M. W.) besides bookes were printed too in that interim for their way, as M. Cottons answere to M. Ball about Formes of Prayer, and his Church Catechisme, &c. In a word in the whole carriage of that businesse they were too hard for us by their policie and subtilty, for whereas a mutuall silence was agreed upon both in preaching, &c. and that out of hand they should bring in a Narrative of their opinions wherein they differed from us, and then should joyne with us in preaching against the Brownists and Anabaptists, they never brought in their Narra∣tive till this day, and though at full meetings of the Ministers they have been spoken unto, and some Ministers have been sent from Page  243 the Company to some, or one of them, and the Narrative was pro∣mised at such a time, and then at such a time, yet it was never per∣formed, and whereas the agreement in writing for our side was left in M. Calamies hand, M. Nye comes after some time to M. Calamy, and pretends some reasons for to borrow it for a while, but after he had it, he carries it away into Yorkshire, that so upon occasions of complaints of the breach of the agreement, when we would have consulted with that, that was gone, and M. Nye keepes it till this day, and having been moved to restore it, his answer is, it is at Hull amongst other papers.

4. And above all the due respect we have had to the peaceable and orderly Reformation of this Church and State, the hopefull ex∣pectation we have been entertained with of an happy latitude and agreement by meanes of this Assembly, and the wisdome of this Parliament.

Strong motives indeed, peaceable and orderly Reformation with a hopefull expectation of an happy latitude and agreement, powerfull and effectuall to have commanded peaceable and or∣derly men, but though you make these grounds above all the rest to have carried weight, yet they could no more prevaile with you then the forenamed, (as I have fully proved) and whether you have had such due respect to the peaceable and orderly Reforma∣tion of this Church and State, let what followes speake: Is it peaceable and orderly in a time when the Magistrate makes it his maine worke to reforme, and cals so many godly learned Mini∣sters from all parts to consult with, to settle the Church and Go∣vernment according to the Word of God, for particular private men to gather Churches, and to adde to them daily without and against the consent of the Magistrate; yea, against the instant and continuall advices and conjurements of many honourable, wise, and godly Personages of both Houses of Parliament, to forbeare what might any way be like to occasion or augment this unhappy difference; now no one thing could hardly more occasion or aug∣ment the differences then this of gathering Churches, according to your way, one or two out of this godly Ministers Parish, one or two out of this Family, the wife from the husband against his consent, &c? Againe, is it peaceable and orderly for these gathe∣red Page  244 Churches to meet on the Sabbath day in private houses at the times of the publique Assemblies, whereby great tumults and combustions have been and may be occasioned in the streets? And is it a due respect to peaceable and orderly Reformation to preach publiquely upon points in difference, and for a Toleration of di∣vers Sects and opinions? And lastly, is that a due respect to the peaceable and orderly Reformation of this Church and Si•…te, to see in Churches (where you, and other Ministers of your way have preached) great tumults and disorders committed by your fol∣lowers against the use of any part of the Lyturgie, and yet never to reprove them for it, nor to teach them to expect and wait till the Parliament would settle things▪ which of you have preached against the tumults in Churches, or the Lay-preaching, or the ga∣thering of Churches by the people? We have had a sprinkling of a little Court holy-water for a colour in one or two Sermons against some who say we have had no Churches, no Ministers, &c. with which the eyes of many men who have not studied the controver∣sies, neither understand them have been blinded; and by which you have the more readily drawn some either to your Church-way by your pretended moderation, or to plead for you against the asper∣sion of Brownisme. But what have you either done really; or for∣borne for the peaceable and orderly Reformation of this Church and State, have not all the notorious and visible disorders in our Churches (since this Parliament) both in Citie and Countrey (which have wrought such great disgusts in many (though unjust∣ly) against the Reformation and the Parliament, that as old Iacob•…aid to Simeon and L•…vi, Ye have troubled me; to make me to stincke amongst the inhabitants of the land, and I being few in number, they shall gather themselves together against me; and •…ay me, &c. so might Reformation and Parliament speake) been committed by your followers, and men of your way and •…om∣munion▪ yea many of them in your presence, when some of you have been to preach (for as for the rigid Brownists and A•…bap∣tists they come not to our Assemblies at all.) O the great advantage and gaine the common enemie hath made amongst many of these things, and the great losse and hinderance the Re∣formation and Parliament hath sustained by them. What that Page  245happy latitude and agreement is with which you have •…een so hop•…∣fully entertained by some, you should have done well to have spo∣ken out, and have told us whether any men in place have given you promises of a Toleration for your way▪ (for I suppose by your phrase that is the happy latitude and agreement you meane,) B•… if any have, I hope it is more then they can performe and mak•… good, besides those persons are free from their promise, & you hav•… justly forfeited that hopefull expectation, for whereas they enter∣tained you with it (as your selves say) that you might keepe si∣lence, and forbeare all acting for your selves or way▪ you have pra∣ctised quite contrary (as is evident by the many instances give•… in my Answer to this Section▪) Now as this deepe silence and for∣bearance of yours, is sufficiently disprooved (for what heare I words, when I see deeds so contrary) so neither the conscience non cōsideration of all these, nor the weight of each have had any great power with you hitherto, but your own interests: For your pri∣vate particular Church way hath prevailed with you above all the publike, to occasion great disturbance amongst the people; and so great disturbance hath been, and is occasioned by your meanes; that the swarme is up and settles in so many places; as without Gods great mercy, they will never be got into one hive againe. The Lord only knowes, when these disturbances will be setled and qui∣•…ted, it were easie to fill up such a booke as your Apologeticall Narration with the particulars of the disturbances occasioned a∣mongst the people; by meanes of you, and other Ministers of your communion. In a word, at that time when some of you whose names are here subscribed, did keepe any silence, I think it was not so much these Reasons pretended by you, as the advantage of our silence in forbearing preaching and printing, (some bookes being then even ready to have come out) that was aymed at; and was a greater w•…ght then the Reasons here mentioned by you, and be∣sides you in your wisedomes knew well enough there we•… many of your way (though you were silent) would be doing and driving on the trade, there would be preaching and printing that would serve to take with the people; and in the interim you should gaine time to ripen, shapen and bring forth your opinions the better with their grounds▪ As to those words in the close of this Section▪ w•…Page  246 have and 〈◊〉 yet resolved to •…re all this with a quiet and strong 〈◊〉 in th•… strength of which we now speake or rather sigh forth this little, &c▪ So it seemes, witnesse this Apologeticall Nar∣ration, that you have, and are resolved to beare all this with a quiet and strong patience, It is a wonder if your patience was so quiet and so strong, (in the strength of which you now speake, or rather sigh forth this little booke) you could not forbeare a little longer from putting forth this Popular and Rhetoricall Discourse to take the people with, and to vindicate your selves and way (espe∣cially having so many advantages.) 1. That many of the mists gathered about you were in a great measure scattered without speaking a word. 2. The good opinion both Houses had of you to make you members of the Assembly, with other favours con∣ferred upon you. 3. Your swimming with the streame of po∣pular applause, cried up, and followed so by the people, with your great interest and familiaritie in many men of place and power. 4. Eminent Lectures, and the most publique places to preach in. 5. Above all, your being members of the Assembly, as also the As∣sembly being upon the very borders of the points in difference: In consideration of all which (I judge) a very little patience might have served the turne to have left the vindi•…ation of your persons to God, and to a further 〈◊〉 of you by •…en; so that it seemes not true to me, that in the strength of a quiet and strong patience you now speake or sigh forth this Apologie, but rather this Apologie was made for want of patience to wait, and out of that common designe of acting for your selves and way, and to lay in something before hand with the Parliament and the people, (what ever the Assembly might chance to conclude,) in a word, to prejudge the Assembly, to play the fore-game, and to prepossesse the mindes of men with a further high opinion of you and your way, but I beleeve, God hath turned all to the contrary, taking the wise in their owne craftinesse, and this Apologie hath, and will make more against you then any one thing you ever did. I have beene told by an intimate familiar friend of yours, that one of you five told him, it proved quite contrary to your expecta∣tion, and you admired at it, it should be so ill taken by the Assembly, &c. It is the worst evill that ever befell you since your returne Page  247 from your exile, worse then all the misunderstandings and mis∣representations of your opinions, and the incitements to the S•…te edged with calumnies and reproaches against Toleration of your Churches, and the suddaine and unexpected noyse of confu∣s•…d exclamations: So soone as ever I read it over with deliberati∣on, I presently apprehended it the beginning of your fall, (in re∣gard of your Church-way,) and could not but wonder at the Pro∣vidence of God, in leaving you to pen such a strange piece, both for matter and manner, so justly liable to exceptions and offence, which would loose you among your friends, and draw pens of all sorts, and from all parts against you, and give occasion for drawing up such answers to it (and you can blame none but your selves) as would upon necessitie discover, and lay open both matter of fact and opinions more then ever else there would have been any pre∣tence of ground to have done it. As for referring the vindica∣tion of your Persons to God and a further experience of you by men. I answere, that without great repentance for this Apologe∣ticall Narration, and some other practises since your returne into England, in stead of Gods vindicating your Persons, you cannot but expect God will visit you; and whether hereafter men may have occasion to vindicate you upon further experience of you, I referre that to time, but for the experience they have had of you this Parliament, before the writing of this Apologie, and by the writing of it, and since till this very day, they can have no great cause of vindicating you, but rather (particularly by this Apolo∣gie) they have matter of great offence and scandall: And I judge this Apologie hath in one sence given a further experience of your wayes and spirits to men, then the experience of many yeares here∣after might have done. As for referring the Declaration of your judgements, and what you conceive to be Gods truth therein to the due and orderly agitation of this Assembly; why did you not as you speake, referre it to the agitation of the Assembly, but write this booke just before the agitation, wherein you had declared your judgements in the points controverted, and let me aske you, seeing you meant to referre the declaration of your judgements to the due and orderly agitation of this Assembly, why would you agi∣tate the points before hand, as in this Apologie, in so undue and Page  248 disorderly a way, why would you so publiquely engage your selves in print before hand, yea, and peremptorily conclude the points before ever disputed, (as in the 22, 24. pages you doe.) And let me tell you, you had ne•… agitate what you conceive to be truth in this cause more duly and orderly in the Assembly, then you doe in the Apologie; for I beleeve this Apologie (considering all circumstances) was borne and brought forth the most out of due time and order of any booke put forth thi•… forty yeares. As for that clause, of this Assembly wh•…reof both Houses were pleased to make us members, it might have been here spared, because in the title of the book, and in other places you speake of your selves as member•… of the Assembly, but if you added it here as by way of ac∣knowledgement of the great favour and good pleasure of the Hou∣ses to make you so, (being members of other Churches then the Church of England, and having received another Ministery, and never purposing to be bound by the determinations of the Assem∣bly,) then there may be some reason of this addition.

And whereas our silence upon all the forementioned grounds (for which we know we can never lose esteeme with good and*wise men) hath been by the ill interpretation of some, imputed either to our consciousnesse of the badnesse and weaknesse of our Cause, or to our unabilitie to maintain what we assert in diff•…∣rence from others, or answer what hath been written by others, we shall (with all modesty) onely present this to all mens appre∣hension•… in confutation of it. That what ever the truth and just∣nesse of our Cause may prove to be, or how slend•…r our abiliti•…s to defend it, yet we pretend at least to so much wisedome, that we would never have reserved our selves for, but rather by all wayes have declined this Theatre, of all other, the most judicious and severe, an Assembly of so many able, learned, and grave Divines, where much of the Piety, wisedome, and learning of two King∣domes are met in one, honoured and assisted with the presence of the Worthies of both Houses at all debates (as often as they please to vouchsafe their presence) as the stage whereon first we would bring forth into publique view our Tenets (if false and counter∣f•…it) together with our owne folly and weaknesse: We would much rather •…ave chos•…n to have been v•…nting them to the multitude▪ Page  249 apt to be seduced, (which we have had these three yeares opportu∣nity to have done.) But in a conscientious regard had to the or∣derly and peaceable way of searching out truths, and reforming the Churches of Christ, we have adventured our selves upon this way of God, wisely assumed by the providence of the State; And therein also upon all sorts of disadvantages (which we could not but foresee) both of number, abilities of learning, Authority, the streame of publique interest; Trusting God both with our selves and his owne truth, as he shall be pleased to manage it by us.

I answer, whereas you speake of silence upon all the forementio∣ned grounds, you have not been silent in the Pulpits, and among the people, but in many Sermons, and in divers Congregations, and at sundry times, most of you have both plainly, particularly, and at large, (besides more darkly and generally) preached your Church-way: so that, what you would inferre is denyed you, for had you indeed been silent amongst the people, and where you ought to have kept silence, you could not have lost esteeme with good and wise men, but it had beene your praise with God and Men: but this is that I charge you with, and for which you may well suffer in the thoughts of good and wise men, that you have been very silent and reserved where you should have spoken, and have been desired; and where the free and plaine declaring your judgements would not have prejudiced the forementioned grounds, but on the other hand where you should have been si∣lent, and your speaking could tend to no other ends, but to di•…union in dividing the godly party, and to the increasing of your owne party, there you have been free to speake out, but to your godly and learned brethren in the Ministery differing from you, you never brought in a Narrative of your Tenets, (as was desired, and you promised) nor ever laid downe clearly your positions with the grounds of them, (as who but you would in three yeares time have done, and have desired satisfaction) but you still declined disputes and reasonings upon the points in difference, as upon that about Formes of Prayer, (whereupon the meeting among Ministers was laid aside for a time.) You never answe∣red any of the bookes written by men of much worth and lear∣ning, and with much strength and moderation, (as your selves Page  250 confesse) but it was still given out by your followers upon the comming forth of the bookes, they should be answered, and that the Question was mistaken, and you held not so, with such like put off's: You have declined giving in your positions and grounds to some Parliament men that desired them, who promised to be ready to doe any thing for you, provided they might know what your way was, and see your grounds to consider of them, whether they were according to Scriptures: but now in Pulpits, and in houses among common people (and especially the female sex) apt to be seduced, strong in their affections, and loving too much Indepen∣dency, but weake and easie in their understandings, not able to ex∣amine grounds and reasons, nor to answer you, there you have ven∣ted abundantly your conceits, setting fire upon the thatch of the house (as Mr Iohn Goodwin in former times used to expresse it.) Upon which grounds and considerations, no marvell though it were interpreted by some Ministers, and by my selfe too, (I freely confesse it) that you were somewhat conscious of a weake and bad Cause, or of unabilitie to maintain what you asserted in diffe∣rence from others, or to answere the bookes written against your way: and I appeale to the Reader, whether this was an ill Interpretation, or whether we might not justly and rational∣ly impute such a silence to the badnesse and weaknesse of the cause, &c. It was ever accounted an argument of a weake and bad cause to delay, and shift off the triall, and hearing of it; and of a bad commodity to be shy of the light; and I have read it somewhere as a speech quoted out of Tertullian, that opinion ought to be su∣spected, which would be hid, and you know that common saying, Veritas non quaerit angulos. But as for that which you present to all mens apprehensions for the confutation of that Interpretation and Construction of your silence; That what ever the truth and justness•… of your cause may prove to be, or how slender your abi∣lities to def•…nd it, yet you pretend at least to so much wisedome, that you would never have reserved your selves for, but rather by all wayes have declined this Theatre of all other the most judi∣cious and severe, an Assembly of so many able, learned, and grave Divines, &c. I answer, it is no concluding argument, it followes not, because there is an Assembly now sitting, whereof you are Page  251 members, where you resolve to bring forth your grounds for your Tenets, that therefore your former silence then, could not be im∣puted to consciousnesse of a bad and weake Cause, or unabilitie to maintain it, and it will appeare thus: because of the different times, and that distance between then and now, you might not see such good grounds, nor be so well versed and studied in it then; be∣sides, you might be in great hopes that it would be long before any such Assembly should meet, (as it was) and when they did meet, it should be long before those points should come to dispute and debate, (as we see hath fallen out) and in the meane time you should gaine time, which Polititians and wise men (as you are) make much account of, and set that against many things, whereby to worke out their ends; and then you should try the spirits of men in the Assembly, and see how things were like to goe; and if things did not cotten to your mind, you might returne back, and so never discover your weaknesse, but if things went on well, and af∣faires were likely to succeed on the Parliaments side, and matters must come to dispute and debate in the Assembly, then you would doe as you should finde occasion, and fall upon such consultations as the times would suffer, then reason and dispute it when brought to a necessity, and it could not be helped; but yet so long as no need kept it off, especially upon some hopes it might never come to that: many will adventure upon a thing with more disadvan∣tages when they see there is no remedy for it, who yet so long as they can be at choise and at liberty will decline the thing out of diffidence of their strength, and feare of their ability to carry it. Many a man shuns fighting when he can avoid it, out of consci∣ousnesse of his weaknesse, and want of skill, and hopes of doing so still, who yet when he must either fight or die, will fight and lay about him as well as he is able, and this was, and is your case: •…d whereas you say, what ever your Cause may prove to be, &c. yet you pretend at least to so much wisedome that you would ne∣ver have reserved your selves for the Assembly, &c. I must an∣swer you, I beleeve upon good grounds, and so do many more, you never tooke any great content or joy in the thoughts of this As∣sembly, but have done your utmost to delay it, and to put it by: God knowes your hearts, and men some of your speeches about Page  252 the meeting of this Assembly, but seeing it could not be helped, and that you could not keep it off by all your friends, you could neither will nor chuse, you have reserved your selves, and not by all wayes declined being members of it; and good reason why, for otherwise you must have lost all, and for ever have had your mouthes stopt for your way, if being chosen of the Assembly you had declined it; but by being members of the Assembly, you ho∣ped at least to doe something for your way, hinder, and stumble the other way, keep it longer from being setled (by which you should gaine, and make an advantage) or get a Toleration for your Chur∣ches, or possibly might carry it at least in some things: For with∣out doubt you reasoned after this manner, There are some ten for our way in the Assembly, and we hope to bring in more of our mind (as you have attempted since the sitting of the Assembly) some besides there are of the Assembly fairly inclining towards us, and ready to comply with us, some also but little studied in the points, and other more indifferent about Government: now we in policie, diligence, speech, and parts excelling many others too, may have some hopes to carry it, or at least to qualifie and moderate the Assembly to our way; (especially having observed the Ministers so desirous of peace, and loath to breake with us almost upon any termes:) but supposing the worst whatever the issue of things might prove to be in the Assembly, you had this Maxime to guide you by, when men can doe no otherwise, they must doe as well as they can: And as for the wisedome you pretend unto, not to bring forth your Tenets into publique view first on the stage of the As∣sembly, (if false and counterfeit) together with your own folly and weaknesse: I answer, the wisedome that many have preten∣ded to, (as much as you can) hath deceived them; and instead of truth and strength have brought forth their folly and weaknesse; and whe•…her none of you, who pretend to much wisedome, have not in the Assembly brought forth into publique view, upon oc∣casion of your Tenets, their folly and weaknesse, I leave the Assembly to judge of that. Onely before I take off my hand from this brought by you in confutation of the ill interpretation of some, I cannot l•…t passe this testimony given by you Five to the Assembly: That it is a Theatre of all other the most judicious Page  253 and severe, an Assembly of so many able, learned, and grave Di∣vines, where much of the piety, wisedome and learning of two Kingdomes are met in one, &c. which testimony given by you to this Assembly, and that Character given by you of the people and the Professours of this Kingdome in page 24. and 28. are worthy to be observed and are of great use in these times, when the As∣sembly and their proceedings are so much traduced and spoken against by your followers and Churches; and let me make this use of it to the people, and sadly put this question to their Conscien∣ces, Whether is more probable, that an Assembly so judicious, of so many able, learned, and grave Divines, where much of the pietie, wisedome, and learning of two Kingdomes are met in one, going in Gods way (as you say, page 28.) making it their worke and businesse to find out the Government and the truth about the order of the Church visible, and giving freedome of debates to men of different mindes and apprehensions, seeking God pub∣liquely and privately daily (with so many prayers put up for them in all Churches at home, and abroad beyond the Seas,) should find out the truth; or Mr Lockyer, Mr Batchelor, Mr Carter, with a company of weake, ignorant men and women, youths and maids, apt to be seduced, and ready to take any impressions, and to be cast into any mould that hath but the appearance of a stricter way? As to those words: We would much rather have chosen to have been venting them to the multitude apt to be seduced: I answer, so you did, much rather chuse to vent your opinions and principles both in publique and private to the multitude, apt to be seduced, according to the opportunities you had these three yeares, then to communicate them to your godly brethren of the Ministerie, (as I have before fully shewed.) For this passage of yours, But in a conscientious regard had to the orderly and peaceable way of searching out truths, and reforming the Churches of Christ, wee have adventured our selves upon this way of God, wisely assu∣med by the prudence of the State; whether this be so or no, that you have had a conscientious regard to the orderly and peaceable way of searching out truth, and reforming the Churches of Christ, let my last answer, and what is before proved witnesse, and if out of a conscientious regard to the orderly, &c. you adventured to be Page  254 members of the Assembly, and upon this way by an Assembly of searching out truths, why did you not before the Assembly for∣beare the disorderly and unpeaceable way of venting your selves to the multitude, and of gathering Churches, &c. as also since the Assembly the disorderly and unpeaceable way of searching out truths in writing this Apologie, in preaching some Sermons, with some other practises, which were no orderly nor peaceable wayes of searching out truths (especially the Assembly sitting;) But them beleeve you that will, I judge, and that upon grounds and hints already given, that other things made you adventure to be of the Assembly, and to come thither constantly, rather then the conscientious regard had to the orderly and peaceable way of searching out truths; and I cannot let passe without some animad∣versions the phrase used by you here of your being members of the Assembly, We have adventured our selves, a very significant and true expression, for I beleeve you accounted this Assembly a great Adventure for your Church-way, and such a bottome as you would not have put it in, (at least not so soon) if all the wayes you could have devised under heaven would have hindred it, but it happened to you according to the Proverbe, Nothing venture, nothing have; for supposing there must be an Assembly, you might perhaps by being members of it doe your selves and way some good, but by declining and refusing it, you had been certainly lost. But bre∣thren, what is the reason, that in this Section, wherein you give so full a testimonie to the Assembly, and of your great adventuring to be members of it, that you annex in the close these words follow∣ing: And therein also upon all sorts of disadvantages, both of num∣ber, abilities of learning, Authoritie, the streame of publique in∣terest, trusting God both with our selves and his own truth, &c. Whether does not this somewhat reflect upon the Assembly? as if there were a great hazard that things would be carried there by number, abilities of learning, Authority, the streame of publique interest, rather then by truth? for if points were not likely to be carried so, by plurality of Votes, &c. but by the clearest proofes from Scripture, then these were no disadvantages to you, but all the advantage, would lie on that side whether many or few, whe∣ther greater Scholars, or lesse, that could bring the strongest Scrip∣ture Page  255 grounds; and I must tell you, that in such an Assembly as you confesse this is and is well known to be, both for the persons and ends of its calling, that great liberty of speech and debate, with that solemne Protestation taken by every member at first sitting there, a man need not account those things specified by you for any disadvantages: for any two or three men, nay, one of a different judgement in Doctrine or discipline from that Assembly, having truth on his side, and but so much learning as to manage and make out his evidences (though a man of no authority) might easily cause the consciences of most there to owne and fall downe before that truth, and to change their mindes; yea, and to blesse God for the light, and imbrace the person or persons that brought it; much lesse need you, whose number is sufficient, about ten (besides some who are halfe Independents,) having parts and abilities enough, and Authority to manage your arguments, and even to command free and long audience, complaine of these things for disadvanta∣ges; but I am jealous this passage is here inserted and brought in to possesse the peoples minds (fearing by this time this Apologie was set out things might not goe on your side) and to give them something to confirme them in your way, to teach them what to say, namely, though you had the truth, and brought such strong ar∣guments as were not answered, yet you could not be heard, but matters were carried against you by pieces, (the greater number of the Assembly by far being of another judgement, as also by the streame of publike interest, Authority, &c.) And many of the peo∣ple of the Church way speake thus already, that the Assembly can∣not answer your arguments, but beare you downe with numbers, the Parliament should have done well to have chosen as many of your way as on the other side, and then there would have been a faire and even triall: but I will examine all your disadvantages apart, and give you and the Reader a particular account of them.

First, For Number, though you have not so many of your judge∣ment in the Assembly, yet you have a competent number to plead your cause, and to be the mouth for all of your way, to speake what∣ever any of your way can say for it. Secondly, When an Assembly was first agreed upon, there were not many more Ministers and Schollers of your way in the Kingdome, who were capeable of Page  256 such a service, (how ever you may be encreased since) so that you had as much advantage as your condition was capeable of, yea and favour too. Thirdly, Considering the many hundred Ministers in this Kingdome that petitioned for Reformation, and subscribed the Remonstrance, (who also bore the heate of the day and never flinched for it,) and the small number of the Independent (who fled also to save their stake, and to keepe in a whole skin) having quitted to our Churches and Ministery, and making no account to be bound by the determinations of the Assembly, it is more in pro∣portion, both Arithmeticall and Geometricall, to have Ten of you members in the Assembly, then some hundreds of our Mini∣sters; and yet you know, the whole number of Divines who meet there, does not much exceed 80 persons. Fourthly, Number is little, where conscientious men having taken such a Protestation, come together to seeke out truth, being free also to receive and chuse any government laid downe in the word, and not over-awed by power or feare of crushing, nor byased by hopes of preferment: it is true in such an Assembly, as the Convocation house of Bishops and their Clarkes was, number was a great disadvantage.

Secondly, For abilities of Learning, I grant you there are many members of the Assembly goe farre beyond any of you in that, yet among you all, and in some particular men of you, there are abilities enough of learning, speech, and wit to bring out and en∣force to the greatest advantage upon study, taking time (which you doe) and writing downe your grounds, any Scripture or Reasons for your way, so that you need not complaine for want of learning, but rather for want of truth in your cause, which will afford no bet∣ter arguments for it.

Thirdly, For Authority, I know not well what you mean by that in this place (you having so many doubtfull passages in your Apo∣logie) whether the Authority of Parliament, or whether the Mi∣nisters who are for Presbytery have greater Authority in the As∣sembly then you, or what else. Now if you meane the first, that the Presbyterian party hath the advantage of you, namely the Au∣thority of Parliament: I answer, the Parliament interposes no authority to determine what government shall be, but calls the Assembly to advise with, and draw up for them what government Page  257 is most agreeable to the word, giving also a liberty to the fewer number in matters of dissent to give in their Reasons (as you in the 30th page grant, and imply you will doe;) And as for the Par∣liament who are Authority, there are but few Ministers of the As∣sembly, who have been able to doe more with them then you? or who have had a greater interest in their favour then your selves? witnesse all passages of Parliament from first to last, wherein the Parliament hath honoured any of the Ministers either in preaching before them upon solemne occasions, or in calling this Assembly; or in employing them about the Scottish affaires, either in Eng∣la•…d, or into Scotland, or in the setting up a Lecture at Westmin∣ster, or in appointing Licensers for printing of bookes, what ever it hath been, or how few the number that have been employed, though but two, or three, yet still an Independent hath beene one. But secondly, if you meane that the Ministers who differ in judge∣ment from you have a greater Authority in the Assembly then you, I answer, you are all equall, having a brotherly equality there; the whole Assembly not having Authority, that is Jurisdiction and power of censure over the meanest, to cast him out, or to hinder him from speech, according to rule and order: And as for autho∣ritie of speaking in the Assembly and of being heard, some of you have exercised as much of that as most there; and for authority with the people to lead them, whether you, or most of the Ministers in the Assembly have the greatest is no controversie; witnesse the deepe censures upon the Assembly, and the godly Ministers every where, by multitudes of the people, but the great applause and crying up of you and other independents: So that if authority with many well meaning people be an advantge it is on your side, and that hath done you heretofore some service, to make many men more shie of preaching against your way, because of your great authority with the people, that being ground enough to put many men out of the state of grace with some sorts of people; besides •…f authority in the peoples hearts could sway any thing with the Assembly against the truth, yea but to suspend their judgements about the truth (as I am confident it doth not) then you would have the advantage of authority, to sway the Assembly rather to your side, then against you.

Page  258 4. For the fourth disadvantage, the streame of publike interest, this is a dangerous insinuation against the Assembly, yea and the Parliament too, without whom nothing the Assemby doth can be of any validitie, as if they would be carried with the streame of pub∣like interests rather then by the word of God, and would bend the word of God to the streame of publike interest; now let me put you this Dilemma, either the publike interest of this King∣dome at this time will stand and agree with the word of God, or it will not; if it will stand, then not only the Assembly, but you also should be for that interest, accounting the publike interest, so suiting to the word of God an advantage; but if it will not stand with the word, but that the streame of publike interest runnes one way, and Gods word another way, can you think the Assembly will be carried with publike interest, and leave the streame of the word? would not the Assembly rather follow the word of God, accounting walking according to that, the greatest and most pub∣like interest? hath the Parliament, Kingdome and Ministers done and suffered so much for a Reformation according to the word of God, and now after all this, is there a streame of publike interest divided from the word, to carry away the Ministers called toge∣ther, according to which a government must be framed, and the Church reformed, and this is the great disadvantage that some members of the Assembly who would goe according to the word of God meet withall, and must be put to swimme against: Bre∣theren what will the Prelates say of our Reformation and Church government when you speake thus? have not you put a sword into their hands this day against us? and shall we not heare of it? but I wish bretheren whilst you thus asperse the Assembly with the danger of being carried a way with the streame of publike inte∣rest, that the streame of your own particular private interest, and credit among the people did not too much carry you away, as many other waies, so in writing of this Apologie; But the Rea∣der may aske, what is the plaine English of the streame of publike interest, according to which there was so great danger the Assem∣bly would swimme? I answer, I conceive one of these two things, or else it is probable both are meant by the Apologists. 1. That the Ministers of the Assembly for themselves and their fellow Mini∣sters, Page  259 would stand for such a government as wherein the power should be in their own hands, and not in the peoples, to doe with them for maintenance and standing at their pleasure, and therefore they would establish Presbyteriall government rather then Inde∣pendent. 2. The Parliament of England upon great Armies raised against them, needing help, calls in for the Kingdome of Scotland to assist them, now the Scots being for Presbyteriall government, and against Independent, and desirous of uniformity in government between the Kingdomes, therefore for gratifying the Scots, the Assembly is like to be swayed that way, is this the streame of publike interest meant by you? oh how unworthy an insinuation is this, and how prejudicall this will be to the Refor∣mation in after times, I desire you to consider of in coole blood, and what the enemies will say of it, the government and Reformation of this Church was not free, not according to the word of God, but what Scotland would have, Englands need of Scotland made them at least swayed much to take up their government; but how ever this is insinuated for the holding up the credit of your cause against the time the Assembly shall come to reject it as Apo∣cripha, yet I must tell you, you foresaw that, which is no such streame of publike interest, nor no cause of disadvantage to you: For the Commissioners of the Church of Scotland were not sent hither to put their government upon us, but came as well to re∣ceive any light and help, as to give, and to come to us in what should be found upon debate more agreeable to the word, as we to come to them, and the Covenant of the Kingdomes doth not tye us to the Reformation of the Church of Scotland, but binds us to Reformation according to the word of God and the example of the best reformed Churches; and then requires both of us and them an uniformity according to the word of God: And indeed the Assembly consisting of so many able, learned and grave Di∣vines, where much of the wisdome, piety and learning of two Kingdomes are met, cannot well be thought to be carried away from the word by the streame of publike interest, especially most of the Assembly being men not engaged by education or otherwise to any other of the reformed Churches, or by former declarations of their judgements, nor appointed by the Parliament to Presby∣teriall Page  260 government, but left freely to be guided by the light of the word in this way of God communicated to them, besides that the Commissioners of the Church of Scotland (however they be pre∣sent in the Assembly to heare debates and to give their Reasons) yet never gave their voices in any point that hath passed the As∣sembly. As for the close of this Section, trusting God both with your selves and his own truth as he shall be pleased to manage it by us. Had you in adventuring your selves upon this Assembly, and therein really beleeving all the sorts of disadvantages (as you here speake) trusted God both with your selvs and that you call his own truth, some of you would never have brought such arguments for your way (as you have done.) And certainely if some of you did trust God as you ought with your selves, &c. you would not trust so much to your wits and policie, nor be so full of reserva∣tions, fetches, doubtfull expressions as you are. And brethren let me deale with you plainely (I hope it may doe you good,) many speake of your policie and subtiltie, some who are strangers to you (yet being members of the Assembly) and beholding your mana∣ging of your opinions and way there, wonder that good men should be so politick and subtill as you are, especially if the cause were good.

Moreover, if in all matters of Doctrine, we were not as ortho∣dox*in our judgements as our bretheren themselves, we would ne∣ver have exposed our selves to this triall and hazard of discovery in this Assembly, the mixture of whose spirits, the quick-sighted∣nesse of whose judgements (intent enough upon us) and variety of debates about all sorts of controversies afoot in these times of contradiction, are such, as would be sure soone to find us out if we nourished any monsters or serpents of opinions lurking in our bo∣somes. And if we had carried it so, as that hitherto such errours were not afore-hand open to the view and judgement of all, yet sit∣ting here (unlesse we would be silent, which we have not been) we could not long be hid. But it is sufficiently known that in all points of doctrine (which hitherto in the review and examination of the Articles of our Church, or upon other occasions have been gone through) our judgements have still concurred with the greatest part of our bretheren, neither doe we know wherein we have dis∣sented. Page  261 And in matters of discipline we are so farre from hol∣ding up the differences that occurre, or making the breaches grea∣ter or wider, that we endeavour upon all such occasions to grant and yeeld (as all may see and cannot but testifie for us) to the ut∣most latitude of our light and consciences; professing it to be as high a point of Religion and conscience, readily to own, yea fall down before whatsoever is truth in the hands of those that differ, yea though they should be enemies unto us, as much as earnestly to contend for and hold fast those truths wherein we should be found dissenting from them; and this is in relation to peace, so also as a just due to truth and goodnesse, even to approve it and acknowledge it to the uttermost graine of it, though mingled with what is op∣posite unto us. And further when matters by discussion are brought to the smallest dissent that may be, we have hitherto been found to be no backward urgers unto a temper (not only in things that have concerned our own consciences, but when of others also) such as may suite and tend to union as well as searching out of truth; judging this to be as great and usefull an end of Synods and As∣semblies, as a curious and exact discussion of all sorts of lesser dif∣ferences with binding determinations of truth one way.

Whether in all matters of Doctrine all of you be as Orthodox in your Judgements as your brethren themselves, I question it, (though in the most Doctrines and in the maine I grant it) I have been told of some odd things in matter of Doctrine preached by one of you five both in England and Holland, and of some points preached in the Church of Arnheim never questioned there, and since printed, not very Orthodox, as for instance (amongst others) that the soules of the Saints doe not goe to heaven to be with Christ, expresly contrary to the 2 Cor. 5. 6, 8. and to Philip. 1. 23. now whether some of you may not hold those opinions, seeing they were publiquely preached at Arnheim, and never condemned (as ever I heard,) I know not, but have reason rather to suspect you doe, how ever though you doe not nourish any Monsters or Ser∣pents of opinions in your bosomes, yet I feare you have running wormes in your heads, and together with the gold, silver, and Ivo∣ry of Orthodox truths, you have store of Apes and Peacocks, con∣ceits and toyes, as strange coined distinctions, new strained expo∣sitions Page  260〈1 page duplicate〉Page  261〈1 page duplicate〉Page  262 of Scriptures, odd opinions about the personall raigne of Christ on earth, and I aske you what the annointing with oyle of sick persons as an Ordinance for Church-members, and what the bringing in of Hymnes composed by the gift of a Church-mem∣ber, cum multis aliis, are? whether are not these strange conceits? and how ever you may be free of Monsters and Serpents of opini∣ons lurking in your bosomes, yet there is much of a Monster and the Serpent lurking in this Apologie, and to be sure one Monster of opinions you all hold generally, and some of you have preacht for, A Toleration of divers sects and opinions, and let me tell you, granting you five be so Orthodox, and supposing your argu∣ment good to prove it, exposing your selves to the hazard of dis∣covery in this Assembly (which is no concluding argument) yet there are many members of those Churches to which you belong, besides many other members of Churches of your way and com∣munion, whom I suppose must be tolerated as well as your selves, that doe hold very odd and strange things. Some of Arnheim hold strange conceits, and some members of Mr Sympsons Church hold some of the points of the Anabaptists, and daily the Indepen∣dent Churches like Africa doe breed and bring forth the Mon∣sters of Anabaptisme, Antinomianisme, Familisme, nay that huge Monster and old flying serpent of the Mortality of the soul of man, and indeed there is no end of errours that the Independent princi∣ples and practises lead unto. As for those words, if we had car∣ried it so as that hitherto such errours were not aforehand open to the view and Iudgement of all yet sitting here, unlesse we would be silent we could not be long hid, &c. I answer, some one or two Heterodox opinions may be hid where men are Orthodox in the most, especially if all points of doctrine have not been discussed, nor reviewed, as in the Assembly they have not, (many Articles of our Church not having yet been gone through) so that your errours in doctrine may be behind, and your triall of being Orthodox will be when the Assembly comes to these Articles: Article 19, 22, 23. & 26. and when that doctrine concerning the Lawfulness of a To∣leration of divers sects and opinions shall come to be discussed: But before I passe from this, I desire the Apologists to remember and the Reader to observe they call the Church of England Our Page  263 Church, and so in the fift page of this Apologie Our own Con∣gregations we meane of England. So that if you meane as you here write, then the Nationall Church of England is your Church and the Parochiall Congregations are yours, and so you establish a Nationall visible Church under the new Testament, and if so, why doe you erect other Churches, and withdraw from your own? but if you doe not meane so, nor beleeve there is a Nationall visible Church, nor account your selves members of this Nationall Church, why doe you speake so, and call the Church of England your own Church, and the Parochiall Churches your own Congre∣gations? As for that part of this Section which concernes your good carriage in the Assembly in matters of Discipline, In matters of Discipline we are so farre from holding up the differences that occurre, or making the breaches greater or wider, that we endea∣vour upon all such occasions to grant and yeeld, &c. I not being present at the debates will say nothing against it, but whether since the writing of your Apologie, and the Assembly comming to the points of Discipline which are properly yours, (your free-hold) you have been so faire and moderate, endevouring upon all occasi∣ons to grant, and yeeld to the utmost latitude of your light and Consciences, that I doubt, and your best friends are not satisfied in it, but rather much offended, and you have much lost your selves with them, by your demeanour and way of managing mat∣ters of difference in the Assembly: But supposing all you say of your selves in this Section were fully so, both before, and since your Apologie, yet it were not much materiall, nor much to be trusted to, being upon the triall of your good behaviour: for it is probable all that may be done out of policie, in reference to the main designe of obtaining a Toleration, which at first cannot be imagined to have any probabilitie of being gained without all seeming faire∣nesse and compliance, and drawing neere to us, and therefore this Apologie is so framed in the words, phrases, and composure of it, that in it you have stretcht your selves to the utmost latitude, and highest compliance with the Church of England, and the Refor∣med Churches, even beyond what is meant by you in our sence, and in common acception, and beyond what many of your followers will own: As also you hide and reserve severall things you hold Page  264 both in matter and manner, that so by all this you might court the Parliament, Assembly, Reformed Churches to beare with such conscientious men, who differ so little from them, and are so mo∣derate and temperate also in and about the debate of those diffe∣rences, but the Parliament and the Assembly are wise to see into and thorough these Artifices, and to consider that if once a Tole∣ration were granted, there would quickly be discovered another face of things, which hitherto stands behind the curtain. As for this passage in the close of this Section, your not being backward urgers unto a temper not only in things concerning your own con∣sciences, but others also, such as may suit and tend to union as well as searching out of truth, judging this to be as great and use∣full an end of Synods, as a curious and exact discussion of all sorts of lesser differences with binding determintions of truth one way. I judge then you had but a weake ground to urge you to temper in matter of difference, and I question whether you were so forward to a temper in the things that might suit and tend to union, for I suppose you are so farie from holding that a great and usefull end of Synods, a curious and exact discussion of all sorts of lesser differences with binding Determinations of truth one way, as that you deny it: I have read a letter out of New-England from a Minister of note there, speaking of that Synod which met upon occasion of the Antinomians and Fami∣lists, formally denying this power of binding determinations to it: and in the Epistle before Mr Cottons late booke, Mr Goodwin and Mr Nye have many passages against Assemblies and Synods ha∣ving power of binding Determinations (though a Ministeriall Do∣ctrinall power they grant) and did you give to Synods and Assem∣blies in all sorts of lesser differences a binding Determination of truth one way, and not only of consultation, direction, and at ut∣most but of Doctrinall Decernment, the controversie would be at an end, and therefore in writing thus, judging that to be as great an end of Synods as this of binding Determinations, and not hol∣ding it, you hold neither, and then what tends all this to but to deceive the Reader.

And thus we have nakedly, and with all simplicitie rendred a*cleare and true account of our wayes and spirits hitherto; Which Page  265 we made choice of now at first to make our selves known by, rather then by a more exact and Scolastique relation of our Iudgements in the points of difference about Church-Governe∣ment; reserving that unto the more proper season and opportu∣nitie of this Assembly, and that libertïe given by both Honoura∣ble Houses in matters of dissent; or as necessity shall after re∣quire, to a more publique way of stating and asserting of them. In the meane time from this briefe historicall relation of our pra∣ctises, there may a true estimate be taken of our opinions in diffe∣rence, which being instanced in, and set out by practises, is the most reall and least collusive way, and carries its owne evidence with it. All which we have taken the boldnesse together with our selves humbly to lay at the feet of your wisedome and piety; Be∣seeching you to look upon us under no other Notion, or Character then as those, who if we cannot assume to have been no way fur∣therers of that Reformation you intend, yet who have been no way hinderers thereof, or disturbers of the publique peace; and who in our Iudgements about the present worke of this age, the Refor∣mation of Worship and Discipline, doe differ as little from the Re∣formed Churches, and our brethren, yea farre lesse, then they doe from what themselves were three yeares past, or then the gene∣rality of this Kingdome from it selfe of late.

I wonder how you can say, We have nakedly and with all simplicity rendred a cleare and true account of our wayes and spi∣rits hitherto, and for the truth of these lines I appeale to any in∣different Reader, and to your owne Consciences, upon the review and examination of your book, and I desire the Reader to remem∣ber what all along in my answer I have observed and made good against many passages both in matters of fact and opinion, and the result will be, that in truth the words may be inverted, in stead of Nakedly, covertly, in stead of all simplicitie, all subtilty, in stead of a cleare and true account of your wayes and spirits, a darke, conceal'd, and untrue account, so that your words might have been trulyer written, And thus we have covertly and with all sub∣tilty rendred a dark, conceal'd and untrue account. of our wayes and spirits hitherto. As for those words, which we made choice of now at first to make our solves known by, rather then by a more Page  266 exact and Scholastique relation of our Iudgements, &c. I an∣swer it was the speciall hand of God against you and your way, (and I cannot but take speciall notice of it, and desire you would) that you should choose now at first to make your selves knowne by such an Apologie, and in such a way rather then by a Scholastique relation of your Judgements. A Scholastique relation would not have made you to knowne as this, neither have discovered your spirits, nor have given that just occasion and necessity of discove∣ring you, it would not have drawne in so many against you, nor have drawne forth such answers as this: But let me aske you the reason, why chose you this way at first rather then a Scholasticall way, if you would now in the time of the Assembly have beene making your selves known in your tenets and opinions, and not have staied till the debating and discussing of them, it had been for many Reasons best to have printed an exact and Scholastique re∣lation of your judgements in the points of difference, rather then such a popular and Rhetoricall discourse? Can there be any rea∣sons given for it, but that this was writ to take the people with, to prepare their mindes for your way (for feare the Assembly should conclude against it,) and the more to engage your party to stand for you, (you having thus openly and confidently declared your selves,) as also, because you are best at this weapon, more able in a laxe discoursing way to expresse your selves, then in a close, presse, Syllogisticall, Argumentative way, and people are most taken with such kind of discourses, rather then with arguments. As for that you say of reserving that unto the more proper season, and opportunitie of this Assembly, and that liberty given by both Honourable Houses in matters of dissent, or as necessity sh•…ll after require to a more publique way of stating and asserting of them. Why could you not as well reserve this Apologeticall, Narration a little longer as the Scholastique Relation of your Judgements, especially having reserved it so long, were you in such hast that the Assembly being upon the borders of the points in difference, nay they being brought in by the Committees to be discussed, you must send out such a discourse to prepare the way for you? did you hope the Assembly as well as the people would be taken with good words and such, flourishes? and since (as you pretend) the ground Page  267 of your silence in page 27. (such a one as it was) was that you might reserve your selves for the Assembly, and let that be the stage whereon first you would bring your Tenets into publike view, why did you goe contrary, and first bring your opinions forth upon the stage of this Apologie to all the world, before you brought them to the Assemblie? and so frustrate your own resolutions, and crosse your own words in page 27. But before I leave this I cannot but observe that you expresse you will draw up your dissent from the Assemble in a Scholastique way to both Houses, and afterwards publikely print your grounds, belike you are beforehand resolved what to h•…ld, and so are preparing your selves to draw up your grounds for both Houses, you meditate upon dissent and non∣agreement, and I perceive the Assembly must expect to be dealt with by you, as the Synod of Dort was by the Arminians, you will be Remonstrants: well you may take your course, and begin when you please, the Assembly hath members enough able to deale with you at that weapon: As to those words, In the meane time from this briefe historicall relation of our practises, there may a true estimate be taken of our opinions in difference, which being instanced in and set out by practises, is the most reall and least collusive way and carries its own evi∣dence with it. For answer, I propund to the Reader as followes this question of your words: In the meane time from this briefe, generall, partiall, conceal'd, untrue, historicall relation of your pra∣ctises, there can be little true estimate taken of your opinions in difference; which being set out by practises but in part, and not the whole, in the bright side, and not the blacke, is the least reall, without any evidence in it, but the most collusive way, especially with the people, and with such who have not studied the contro∣versies, nor know not the points in difference: But I will shew unto you a more reall way, if you will promise to answer posi∣tively, and plainely to such questions and positions as I shall draw up for you concerning your Church-way, then there may be an estimate of the opinions in difference, and for requitall of this, I will promise you to answer clearely and fully to any questions both of doctrine, discipline and worship that you can put unto me; As for those words, All which we have taken the boldnesse together Page  268 with our selves, humbly to lay at the feet of your wisedome and piety, &c. I answer, it is a great boldnesse indeed to present such an Apologie to both Houses, the supreme Iudicatory of this King∣dome, which is and hath been in all times the most just and severe tribunall for guiltinesse to appeare before, wherein besides the questions and controversies so mistated, and so many doubtfull dark passages, there are many untrue relations, and I wonder how you durst presume to lay so much folly and indiscretion, with un∣truth, at the feet of so much wisedome and piety: had your Apo∣logie been only adpopulum, who are weake, and apt to be deceived, it had been more excusable, but to appeale by such an Apologie to both Houses of Parliament is very strange, but we may see by this, how farre applause and favour with the people, and confidence of successe will carry men: You have need indeed to beseech the Parliament to looke upon you under no other notion or character then as those who if you cannot assume to have been no way fur∣therers of the Reformation, yet who have been no way hinderers thereof or disturbers of the publike peace. I think your conscien∣ces should tell you the Parliament hath reason to looke upon you under other notions and characters then you represent your selves by, which (I judge) is the ground of your deprecating the Houses, and indeed I wonder how you can make such a Petition to both Houses, for it is evident you have been no furtherers of that Reformation which the Parliament, or ever any wise State did in any age intend; but you may assume to have been furtherers of a Reformation for Independent government, and separation, which the Parliament never intended: But whether you have been no way hinderers of the Reformation intended, nor disturbers of the publike peace, let the things alledged in this answer speake, wit∣nesse gathering of Churches, witnesse the tumults that have been in streets upon some of your private meetings, witnesse the distur∣bance of the publike peace in some Churches upon your preaching, and particularly if the delaying the work of Reformation, and set∣ling Church government be some way an hinderance to it, and an occasion of disturbing the publike peace, then you five have not been the least nor last in some way hindering Reformation, and disturbing the publike peace. And bretheren what is the great Page  269 thing that letteth, and will let but you five, I am confident had it not been for you five, and a few more, the Reformation intended, and the publike peace of the Church had been in a farre fairer way then now it is: Bretheren there are many complaints, and that by your deare friends of retarding the work of Reformation by your meanes, you are the Remora to the Ship under sailes, you are the spokes in the wheeles of the Chariot of Reformation; Parliament complaines, Assembly, City, Countrey, all complaine of the worke retarded, and all is resolved into you five principally: I could tell you many particular passages, but you know what I meane; In a word all the Prelates and the Papists cannot, nor doe not so much hinder the work of Reformation as you five members of the As∣sembly, and the Lord in merey worke so, that by occasion of you, and by meanes of your principles, and many persons of your Church-way, there doe not yet rise up another great mountaine before Zerubbabel, to hinder the laying the head stone of that building, the foundation whereof is layed. As for your differing so little in your judgements about the present worke of this ag•…, Reformation of worship and discipline from the reformed Chur∣ches and your bretheren, &c. I answer, if so be that you differ so little from the reformed Churches, and your bretheren, yea farre lesse then they doe from what themselves were three yeares past, why doe you not then incorporate with us? why will you, or how can you answer it to God for that to make a rent? and to desire to have Churches of your own way, and to be an occasion of so much evill, as that would prove to this Church? the smaller the difference is the greater is the schisme and separation, for the lesse the cause of a separation is, the greater the fault is in those that make it. Are we come so farre to you so many miles, (as you imply in those words, from what themselves were three yeares past,) and will not you come a step or two to us for union and peace, and to heale that great schisme, with many other inconveniences: We have and are comming (blessed be God) a great way to Church reformation and worship, but the points that you would have us come to you in, besides that they are Apocripha not to be found in Scripture, we cannot being a Nation and Kingdome come to you in your way, your Independent government and particular ga∣thered Page  270 Churches cannot stand with a Nationall Reformation, as some of your way have confessed; and therefore would have but a toleration for themselves, but you may come to our Reforma∣tion easily; though a Nation cannot be contained in a few, yet a few may well in a Nation, besides if you by your confessions differ farre lesse from us then what we did from our selves three yeares past, why will you for all that great difference in us then, and now, and what need have you to goe make new separated Churches from whom you farre lesse differ, but what ever you say here of your small difference between you and the reformed Churches and us, the more to work with the Parliament for a toleration in some les∣ser differences, yet the differences, are held by you to be greater and more materiall, or else you would close with us so reforming; and among other particulars you differ more from your brethren then your brethren from themselves three yeares past, your brethren being of one Church both then and now, but you and your bre∣thren being of two distinct Churches and communions, you setting up new because you cannot continue in the old with them, and cer∣tainely men of one and the same Church and communion differ lesse among themselves, then persons of a Church and communion set up against that Church, but least from this passage your fol∣lowers should make use to tax the Ministers of our Church who have desired Reformation with inconstancie, and going according to the times, and your selves make use of it to defend your running so farre in your way, the Ministers differing farre more from them∣selves within this three yeares past then you doe from them, I must propound this to prevent those consequences, namely that most of your brethren both of the Assembly, and of other parts of the Kingdome differ little from themselves in judgement from what they held three yeares past, or many yeares past, namely might they have had their desire, and could their votes have carried it, they would have voted out Ceremonies, government by Arch-bishops, Bishops, &c. this Lyturgie and Service-book, and though they now practise not many things they did before, but forbare, yet some things are forborne as being matter of offence among the people, and other things as having been an occasion of much hurt in the Church, and now there being so open a dore for a full Reformation Page  271 they doe labour after the best, and follow what they judge most for edification now, not condemning all their former practises (es∣pecially considering those times) unlawfull and sinfull.

And withall to consider us as those, who in these former times,*for many yeares suffered even to exile, for what the Kingdome it selfe now suffers in the endeavour to cast out, and who in these present times, and since the change of them, have endured (that which to our spirits is no lesse grievous) the opposition and re∣proach of good men, even to the threatning of another banishment, and have been through the grace of God upon us, the same men in both, in the midst of these varieties; And finally, as those that doe pursue no other interest or designe but a subsistance (be it the poo∣rest and meanest) in our own Land (where we have and may doe further service, and which is our birth-right as we are men) with the enjoyment of the ordinances of Christ (which are our portion as we are Christians) with the allowance of a latitude to some lesser differences with peaceablenesse, as not knowing where else with safety, health and livelihood, to set our feet on earth.

For my part I wonder with what face you can write this, And withall to consider us as those who in these former times, for many yeares suffered even to exile, and bring it as an argument to the Parliament to consider you the more, namely to grant you a to∣leration. All the answer I shall returne is, that the Parliament and Kingdome shall and may doe well to looke upon you, and con∣sider you instead of many yeares suffering even to exile, as men who voluntarily went into another Countrey nigh at hand, to live safely out of gun-shot, and there lived richly, plentifully and freely, whilest other godly Ministers lived here in continuall feares, dan∣gers, tossings, suspensions, attachments and consumptions of their estates: It is strange that men should be so farre partiall, as to frame an argument, and make account the more to be considered and favoured for flying away, and deserting the Cause in the open field: Suppose some Captaines and Souldiers in the Parliaments service should put up a petition to the Houses, forasmuch as they left the rest of the Army in distresse, and withdrew in the day of battaile, and never returned till the enemy was put to the worst, and the battaile turned, therefore they would be pleased to afford Page  272 them an exemption from common taxes, &c. and vouchsafe them some speciall priviledge, what would you think of such a motion? the application is obvious, you deserted the Cause, and in as much as in you lay hazarded all, and yet are not content with this, to come in upon the victory, and divide the spoiles with those who helped to winne the field, to enjoy the prime Lectures and places in and neare the City, both of note and profit with all respect and countenance from Parliament and City, but you would have Pe∣culiars, and enjoy such a way as should shut out all in comparison, an unreasonable request, and a strange instance for all posterity if it should be granted: For our parts many of us who bore the heate of the day, stood to it and ventured breaking and undoing many times over, request no such favour nor exemption, but to take our lot in common with the Kingdome and Ministers in things esta∣blished; and I know no reason that upon any considerations ei∣ther extrinsicall or intrinsicall you should be considered above the godly Ministers of the Church of England: I know and could give many to the contrary, but besides that I have before fully spoken (more then once) how little there is in this argument of yours so often inculcated of exile, and suffering to exile, the cause here rendred by you of your suffering even to exile, namely for what the Kingdome it selfe now suffers in the endeavour to cast out, is not true, nor proper: For however the Kingdome now suffers for casting out the Hierarchie, and some corruptions in wor∣ship, and for a Reformation according to the word of God, and the example of the best reformed Churches, yet your suffering unto exile was not for that (for which the non-conformists more for∣ward then you suffered) but your leaving the Kingdome was to enjoy the Church way, without which (we suppose) you will not be contented though Ceremonies, Episcopacie and Lyturgie be now cast out by the Kingdome, as the fruit of all their sufferings, but if Presbyterie be setled, and Independencie may not be tolera∣ted you will goe away the second time and may be call that exile and banishment too: As for your enduring in these present times and since the change of them, that which to your spirits is no lesse grievous, the opposition and reproach of good men, by which you would further perswade and move the Parliament to allow you a Page  273 Toleration, let me minde you that I beleeve in no age five men practising, and acting as you have done contrary to the Judge∣ment of all the Churches, and of the Ministers your brethren, and that to the sensible disadvantage of the publique Reformation, ever met with lesse opposition and contradiction of good men, and as for reproach none at all: I will not reiterate what I have for∣merly expressed in pag. 226, 227. but it is beyond all president the silence, compliance, respects, faire carriage you have been enter∣tained with from the Ministers, and good men, neither Luther that eminent servant of God and excellent Instrument, nor others could finde the like in their time from the Ministers differing from them, and therefore the complaint is very groundlesse, and to speake truth, you were so much the peoples Darlings and Favourites having such a power both with the people, and with many in place, that not to oppose or reproach your persons, but your opinions, and that but collaterally and interpretatively was enough to unsaint many men as good as your selves, and to blast them with many for the present; As for that compari∣son, the opposition and reproach of good men as grievous to your spirits as suffring Exile, I conclude your Exile was very gentle then, and I judge both much alike grievous, that is neither; but what tender spirits have you? and what constitution are you made of? that a little opposition, and reproach of good men•… (especially having with it so great applause, and high esteeme to over-ballance it) should be so grievous to your spirits as many yeares suffering even unto exile: Many of us have and doe endure great opposi∣tions, reproaches, revilings, and stornes from those who would be thought not onely good, but the best men, with many neglects; slightings, desertings, and ingratitude, from whom we had all rea∣son to have expected the contrary, and all this in the shade without any one beame of speciall favour / shining upon us (which though we could not but see, and take notice of all along, and cannot but upon this occasion upbraide the unthankfulnesse of many people, leaving all to God to cleare our righteousnesse, and to convince them) yet we have made no complaints to the world, nor written Apologies for our selves, but through the grace of Christ have in patience possessed our soules without much grievousnesse to our Page  274 spirits, our Consciences within us witnessing we have suffred all this for our faithfulnesse to God and to his people, and for no other cause given to them; and if opposition and reproach from good men be no lesse grievous then Exile, some of us who have been Anti-Independent have suffered a sore Exile more yeares then you the Apologists: For besides our reproaches during the time of your Exile in Holland, we have since your returne from Exile even to this present day suffered many reproaches, and lost all manner of wayes, in name, estate, and friends, for nothing else but for appearing against the Brownists and Independents, and how much in the meane time most of you have gained all manner of wayes is written with a sun-beame: But what is this oppositi∣on and reproach from good men you have endured no lesse grievous then an Exile for many yeares: you say even the threatning of another banishment: Is the threatning of another banishment so grievous a matter, that you here present it to both Houses, as a motive to perswade the Parliament to grant you a Toleration, Threatned folkes (they say) live long, and so may you, you are not yet banished, nor used as men likely to be banished; besides, the good men that threatned it had no power to performe it; Banish∣ment belongs not to them, I can hardly beleeve it that such high and confident men as you are should be so troubled with threats, (especially from men in whose power it lies not,) but you are wil∣ling to make any thing an Argument to both Houses to consider you in that point: If one or both Houses had threatned you banish∣ment, that might have beene as grievous to you as your former Exile, but for any of your fellow-Ministers you might have threat∣ned them againe, and have stood upon equall termes, I know in some cases, and could name how some of you have done it, and when words have been spoken to you about your opinions by some Ministers, you have given as good as was brought you, and have bid them doe their worst, you doubted not but by your friends to make your part good, and that you had as many for your way, as they. But for my part I doe not remember any good men who have threatned you with another banishment, some may in reaso∣ning with you have argued against a Toleration of your Indepen∣dent Government, and if you will from thence by consequences Page  275 say they threatned you banishment, I judge this is farre fetched; For my book which (may be) is partly aimed at in this as well as in other passages of your Apologie, I can cleare it that I threatned you not with banishment, but laboured to satisfie you how you might enjoy your consciences in your own land, and did lay down a Medium between banishment and a Toleration: As for that which you say of your selves, that you have been through, the grace of God upon you, the same men in both in the midst of these varieties: I answer if you were the same men in your Exile as you have been since your returne into the Kingdome, you have no great reason to boast of it, nor to present it to the Houses as a Mo∣tive to be the more considered of, for most of you have been in England very high and peremptorie, and your owne Apologie with this Antapologie gives a full Character of your carriage here, so that I may turne these words thus, we have been through the corruption in us the same men in Holland and England in the midst of these varieties, namely seeking our selves and our owne particular ends too much, yea too high, confident and peremptorie in our way; As for the close of your Apologie in the last nine lines, And finally, as those that doe pursue no other interest nor designe but a subsistance (be it the poorest and meanest) in our own land, &c. You come in this to that which was first in your Intention, though brought in last for a Conclusion, on purpose to leave a deeper impression in the Parliament at the close of all, namely that the Houses would grant you a Toleration of your Independent Churches expressed in these soft and faire words, the allowance of a latitude to some lesser differences with peaceablenesse, which Toleration is ushered in, compassed about, and closed up with what may be most likely to take, namely summing up what is past, all your sufferings and patience in Exile, reproaches, &c. with your doings for Reformation, and being the same men in all conditions, and what is yet to come, laying all together to draw both Houses towards you, and to worke the people of the Kingdome to stand the more for you: Now for answer to this close of your Apologie, as containing the end and aime of your writing it, I will first exa∣mine the Arguments and expressions brought by you to effect your end, to perswade the Houses, and secondly, speake to the thing Page  276 and matter, namely the Toleration of Independent Churches and Government in this Kingdome.

For the first I answer, what you may doe for the future, whe∣ther you will pursue no other Interest nor designe in this King∣dome but a subsistance, be it the poorest and meanest, I will not prophecie, but if we may argue from what you have done, and what yet you doe, then there is great cause of feare you will pursue other Interest and designes: for you have and doe pursue the designe of increasing your partie, and spreading your way as the onely way of God, else why have you preached and done so much for it? neither can I beleeve you are so low spirited and so terrene as to look out after no other inrerest but a poore subsistance in this Kingdome, what have you not the designe and interest of setting up Christs Kingdome and pure Ordinances in the midst of us? I professe for my selfe and brethren that we have greater interests and designes in our seeking Reformation, then a subsistance in our owne land (though it might be never so full and plentifull) name∣ly the glory of God, the advancement of the Kingdome of Christ, the opportunities of doing more service: And as for a subsistance be it the poorest and meanest, I appeale to the Conscience of the Reader whether that be likely, have you contented your selves with a poore and mean condition hitherto? have you lived in a poore rank, preaching in poore and meane Congregations, or have you not ruffled it, bearing a higher saile, and carrying a greater port then most of the Godly Ministers in Citie or Countrey? have not some of you the prime Lectures of the Citie, and other good places of advantage and profit, (besides what some of you have from your owne Churches,) could not you have been contented to have added more places, and can any who know you in what height you live, and what Grandees of the times you are, and how much you appeare in publike in the chiefe places of resort, and have insinuated into so many great men, beleeve that you would live contented with a subsistance (be it the poorest and meanest?) let them beleeve you who will, for my part I am not satisfied in the truth of it, but doe suspect that if the Parliament should make an offer to you to this purpose you would refuse it. You say you pursue no other Interest or designe, but a subsistance (be it the Page  277 poorest and meanest) in your owne land, well, you five shall have your. Church-way, and enjoy Congregations in such a remote corner of the Kingdome, provided you shall not have above fiftie pounds a yeare, nor above fiftie persons to each Church, you shall adde none from any other Congregations of the Kingdome, nor admit any of other Congregations to come to heare you, nor never preach in any of our Churches any of your Church-Principles, nor speake of them in private to any but your owne members, would this satisfie you? in your Reply give a positive and cleare answer. As for that you say, where we have and may doe further service. I answer, before you fell into this new Church way, you did God service, but since, you have done more dis-service then ever service, and if God be pleased to bring you backe into the fellowship of this Church, and to joyne in this Reformation to grow up into one body, you may doe him further service; other∣wise in the way of a Toleration which you aime at, you will doe more hurt then you can doe good in this Kingdom (yea though you had the tongues and parts of Angels.) As for those words a sub∣sistance in the land which is our birth-right as we are men, and the enjoyment of the Ordinances of Christ our portion as we are Christians; I answer, a subsistance in the land according to the Lawes established is your birth-right, but not otherwise; besides, the deniall of a Toleration of your Churches doth not deny you a subsistance in the land, but you may subsist if you please though no Toleration: But supposing you may not have what you please, if thereupon you will remove to other Kingdomes, that is your fault, and not the States; when a Father or Master lets their children and servants have what is good and fitting, but denies to let them doe what they list, and refuses to grant what would hurt them, if the children and servants will goe away, and put themselves upon in∣conveniences to have their mindes and wils else-where, it is not the parents and masters fault, but the children and servants; if men will punish themselves with Exile, because they cannot have their wils, they can blame none but themselves. And as for the en∣joyment of the Ordinances of Christ, which you say are your por∣tion as you are Christians, then they are your portion not as Church members, but as Christians, and why then doe you keep Page  278 away many good Christians from them, for want of being Church members after your way; but let me tell you though the ordi∣nances of Christ be the portion of Christians, yet not in what way and dresse so ever they will have them, for so the Papists may plead to enjoy them in their way, and the Anabaptists in their way, but they are the portion of Christians so as to enjoy them according to the word of God in the publike Assemblies, and not in a schisma∣ticall way, and so may you enjoy among us publike ordinan∣ces in the publike Assemblies, but to forsake the publike As∣semblies and draw away others with you, and to set up a wall of separation between you and the reformed Churches, this is not your portion as you are Christians, but it is against Chri∣stianity, and is your sinne and schisme. As for that allowance of a latitude to some lesser differences with peaceablenesse, you need not doubt that, so farre as will stand with peaceablenesse, that is so as not to urge subscriptions upon you to all the points of government and order, not to cast you out from prea∣ching amongst us though you may be of a different judgement in some lesser matters (especially so long as you keep your judge∣ments to your selves, and preach not contrary to what is establi∣shed to make factions and parties:) But if you meane by the allow∣ance of a latitude to some lesser differences, that you and others may have free leave to set up separated Congregations, and goe and receive in to your Churches whom you please, and governe Inde∣pendently in a different forme of government from the govern∣ment established, I must tell you this ought not to be granted, as being inconsistent with peace and truth, and would be a perpetuall root and source of many bitter divisions, errours and mischiefes in this Kingdome: As for your last words of all, not knowing where else with safety, health and livelihood to sot your seet on earth, that seemes strange to me, doe none of the English Ministers who live in other parts of the world, as in Holland, New-England and other places enjoy safety, health and livelihood, are these things con∣fined and tied only to England? did not most of you enjoy all these abroad? livelihood is confessed in your Apologie, a full and liberall maintenance annually: safety you went over for, and found; and as for health, some of your way have commended Page  279Arnheim you lived at, to be like Hartford and Bury in Suffolke, and one of you Roterdam to be as good, if not better then London; which places for health are sufficiently knowne. And however all these things of no other interest but a subsistance in our own land, and of enjoying the ordinances of Christ, and not knowing where else with safety, health and livelihood to set our feet on earth, be held forth as specious pretences to the Parliament and Reader to perswade and to allure them, yet the bottome of all this desire of a toleration in England (though concealed) is that there is no other place on earth, where you are like to propagate your way, to gaine so great a party, to enjoy such full and rich Congregations, and to have that respect and applause in your way as in England, and in England as London and the adjacent parts, or where you can have those faire hopes and probabilities of drawing so great a part of a Kingdome to your Church-way as here: and where if you goe on to act as diligently and politickly as you have done in these three yeares last past, and the Ministers be as generally silent, and the common people of the Kingdome come a little more to understand your principles, and have time to digest and consider of the great liberty and power they have thereby, the rest of the Kingdome may in time come to be beholding to you for a toleration of Pres∣byterie (if it be established) (which you will as soone grant, if you come to have power in your hands, as you will Episcopacy and Po∣pery,) many of your Church-way ordinarily affirming they had rather have Episcopacie then Presbyterie; and it hath been affirmed to me by a Minister of note, that a Minister of the Church-way pre∣ferred Popery in this Kingdome before Presbyterie, for if Popery should come in, it would be but short lived, but Presbyterie was like to be long lived: The Arminians in the Netherlands at first desired but a toleration, no more but to be permitted to enjoy in some Churches of their own their consciences with peaceablene•…, but afterwards that by the connivance and favour of the Magi∣strates they were in some Cities and places (as Amsterdam &c.) grown to a great number, and had a great power, then they would not suffer no•… tolerate the orthodox Ministers, but persecuted them, and some were forced to flie (as in the stories of the Netherlands is at large recorded,) And if ever the Independents by connivance or Page  280 a toleration should come to have a power and strength consi∣derable, if they serve not us so, I am much deceived: All Sectaries and erro•…eous spirits who are but tolerated, and not owned, will watch all advantages to set up their own way as chiefe, and when they have a power will be impetuous and violent to effect it, as the Anabaptists in Germanie were, the Arminians in Holland, and the Antinomians and Familists in New-England: As women out of their weakenesse and feare when they have power over any, are most cruell, so Sectaries out of their feare least a State may one time or other cast them out and not tolerate them, will upon an advantage suppresse and destroy the orthodox, and stablish their own.

2. As for the matter it selfe contained in the close of your booke, a Toleration of Independent Churches and government, the scope and last end of this Apologie, whereunto tends all the artifice and fallacies in the composure of it, I shall lay downe some Reasons and grounds against it: I cannot stand to handle the question at large about tolerations of different Religions or of divers Sects and opi∣nions in one and the same Kingdome, (this answer being already a great deale longer then I intended it.) I cannot now open the tearmes and premise the distinctions, as distinguishing concer∣ning the nature and kind of errors, concerning the persons erring, concerning the kinds and degrees of toleration and coaction, &c. I shall reserve the full handling of this point, whether toleration be lawfull, to a particular Tractate I intend upon that subject: In the meane time upon occasion of what you present here to the Par∣liament, I shall humbly submit to their considerations these fol∣lowing particulars.

1. A Toleration of Independent Churches and government * with their opinions and practise, is against the Magistrates duty laid downe in Scripture; but for Magistrates by good lawes to command and require obedience to the government and Refor∣mation, upon good grounds judged to be according to the word of God, and so established, is lawfull and their duties: For the clea∣ring of which I premise two things, which I suppose must needs be granted. 1. That the Magistrate is custos ac vinde•… utrius{que} Tabula, (as is confessed by all orthodox Divines,) that the care of Religion belongs to him, and that he is to looke to it that the Page  281 Church of God and the Government of it be constituted and set∣led according to the Word, and that the people may lead a peace∣able * and quiet life in all godlinesse and honestie, for which end Princes and Magistrates are to make Lawes for the observing of the Worship and Government of Christs Church, forbidding and punishing with religious severitie those things which are practised against the Word of God, but commanding what is according to it, this is one of the great services they yeeld to Christ as they are Magistrates; and I find Augustine and other Divines giving that sense of Psal. 2. 10, 11. of Kings and Iudges serving the Lord with feare, and of Deut. 17. 19. of God commanding the King to read the booke of the Law, that he may learn to observe the things which are written in it, not onely as private men practising these and ordering their lives according to the Word, but as Kings they should order their Office by the Word, not onely by living holily (for so they serve God as men) but as Kings and Magistrates by making Lawes for the Worship of God, and prohibiting the contrary. 2. That the Reformation in Worship, Government, &c. which shall be setled and established by the Parliament is judged and taken for granted by them to be according to the minde of Christ, else why have they called so many able, godly and learned Divines to consult with for that purpose, and stood so much for a Reformation according to the Word? and why else will they establish it, if there be any other more agreeable to the Word? so that whatsoever other Government after all debates and Rea∣sonings is rejected and refused must be thought not to have such a ground in the Word, for if it had, why was it not established and owned, but comes to seeke for a Toleration and Connivance? Now then by vertue of many Scriptures both in the old and new Testament, the Examples of the Kings of Judah in commanding and requiring all the people to yeeld to the Reformations made by them (and in particular the Spirit of God commending Iosiah for making all Jerusalem and Benjamin to stand to the Covenant * which he had made with God) the fourth Commandement re∣quiring of the Father of the Family that he see all under his power and charge to worship God (upon which learned Divines (as Zanchius) excellently show the dutie of Magistrates in reference Page  282 to commanding and providing that their people shall worship God according to his will) Rom. 13. 4. Ephes. 5. 11. 1 Tim. 5. 22. 2 Iohn 11. v. Revel.〈◊〉. 20. with many other places in Scrip∣ture of removing away of evill, and of not consenting to evill, &c, the Parliament is bound to establish, and to command obedience to that Reformation which is judged most agreeable to the Word, and to suppresse and hinder all other: It was excellently done by the Parliament to call together so many able, godly, and Orthodox Divines to debate and find out the mind and will of God, for Do∣ctrine, Worship, and Discipline, and to give libertie to men of different judgements to bring in their grounds: and after all wayes of enquiry and searching into truth, and a Modell drawn up for them upon good grounds being satisfied, 'tis their dutie by their power and authoritie to bind men to the decrees of the As∣sembly, and not to tolerate any other Doctrines, Churches, Wor∣ship or Government to be set up and exercised; you ought not to suffer the weake to be destroyed, nor the people to be drawn away by every wind of doctrine, but when once upon good grounds the Reformation is concluded, you must defend it against trouble∣some and turbulent spirits, and in so doing God will be with you, and subdue the people under you, whereas if to please some peo∣ple you suffer them to enjoy their own way, God will not be well pleased with it, neither can you answer it unto God: You may lawfully, nay ye ought in that which is good to compell men (though they pretend conscience) shall the errours of other mens consciences hindr you from yeelding that service which God re∣quiteth of you? may a Parliament displease God to please men? or may they be please•…s of other mens sins, and wink at evill to con∣tent some persons? No, Parliaments in making lawes for Religi∣on must depend on the will of God •…led in his Word in the best and 〈◊〉 wayes communicated to them, and not upon the consciences of some people.

〈◊〉. The Toleration desired is against the solemne League and Co∣venant for Reformation, taken by the Parliament, and the King∣dome * of England and Scotland, and 〈◊〉 be co•…ed to without 〈◊〉 of that Oath and Covenant, so that the Apolo∣gie and motion for a Toleration comes •…o late, the doore is shut Page  283 against it, the Kingdomes hands are bound, so that if such a Tole∣ration were not in it•… selfe unlawfull, and against the dutie of the Magistrate, yet now because of the Oath and Covenant 'tis un∣lawfull, so that whatever might have been granted before, cannot now, lest the Kingdome should be guilty before God of Covenant∣breaking: Now a•… Toleration, and this moving for a Toleration by the Apologists is expresly against these branches of the Cove∣nant: 1. Against that clause in the first branch of endeavouring the Reformation, of Religion in the Kingdomes of England and Ixe∣land in Doctrine, Worship, Government and Discipline, according to the Example of the best Reformed Churches; now in this Pe∣tition to both Houses you would be exempted from the Refor∣mation of the best Reformed Churches, so that unlesse you under∣stand the Brownists, New-England, or your own Churches to be the best Reformed, you have broken your Covenant, but though you may understand it so, and may be tooke the Covenant in that sense, yet I suppose you cannot think the Pa•…liament (whom you s•… to for a Toleration) took the best Reformed Churches in that acception, but for the Reformed Churches so called and common∣ly knowne, as of France, &c. so that their granting a Toleration would be against this clause of the best Reformed Churches. 〈◊〉 'tis expresly against another clause in the firs•… branch. And sh•…ll endeavou•… to bring the Churches of God in the three King∣domes to the neerest Conjunction and Uniformity in Religion, Confession of Faith, Forme of Church Government. Directory so•… Worship and Catechi•…ing. Now if the Parliament hath covenan∣ted so, how can it grant a Toleration of so different a Forme of Church Government and Worship, as the Independent way is from the Presbyteriall? and how can you be excused from expli∣cite formall breach of Covenant in this part of your Apologie, ha∣ving sworne and sub•…bed to endeavour by all meanes to bring the Churches of God in these three Kingdomes to the neerest Con∣junction and Uniformitie in Religion, who in stead of so labouring and endeavouring or ever so much as trying whether you with the rest of the Churches may not be brought into a neere Conjunction and Uniformitie, just before the time the Assembly was comming to fall upon these points in difference to put out this Apologie and Page  284 to move for a Toleration, before hearing what could be said to you for satisfaction, or ever debating the points in the Assembly: Is this to endeavour by all meanes to bring the Churches of God in the three Kingdomes to the neerest Conjunction and Unifor∣mitie in Religion &c. before so much as ever debating points to conclude magisterially (as you doe in pages 22. and 24.) against the Reformed Churches, and to desire an exemption from Con∣junction and Uniformitie with the rest of the Churches in this Kingdome. 3. 'Tis against that clause in the second branch, that we shall in like manner without respect of persons endeavour the extirpation of schisme, and whatever shall be found contrary to found doctrine and the power of Godlinesse, lest we partake in other mens sins. Now that which you move for is schisme and contrary to sound Doctrine, the Church-way being a schisme, besides many of your Church Principles are against sound Doctrine, and the power of Godlinesse, as that in your Apologie about the subject of Excommunication, as that of a few people having power to joyne together, and set up a Church and chuse what Ministers they will, as that of the Independencie of particular Congregations from any Authenitative power, &c. so that the Parliament in the midst of their Reformation and blessed Conjunction according to the Word of God with the Reformed Churches should in allowing you a Toleration suffer a formall schisme, both in Worship and Go∣vernment in the midst of these Kingdomes. 4ly, This Tolerati∣on sued for is against a part of the fourth branch, endeavouring the discovery of such as have been evill Instruments by hindring Re∣formation of Religion, or making any faction or parties amongst the people contrary to this League and Covenant: Now the Par∣liament is bound by this against all persons and things which hin∣der the Reformation, and makes any faction or parties amongst the people: now whether a Toleration granted, yea but moved for would not hinder the Reformation of Religion, and make Faction and parties amongst the people, let it be considered: I confesse I wonder how the Apologists ever took this Covenant, or having ta∣ken it, that they should ever dreame more of a Toleration, or think it possible the Parliament should grant it, the Covenant being so direct against a Toleration: Many of the Church-way and Com∣munion Page  285 have and doe apprehend all this, that taking the Covenant and a Toleration of Independencie cannot stand together, and thereupon there are Ministers and people of that way had not ta∣ken it (whatever they may of late. I have been told from a good hand that some of the Apologists had much adoe to bring them∣selves to take it, and that it was a bitter pill to get downe, and one of some qualitie assured me that Mr Nye told him in Scotland, that when the Covenant had passed there, and was to be sent for England, he writ with all earnestnesse and possible Conjure∣ments to Mr Goodwin, Mr Bridge, &c. not to oppose it, or be against it, as much fearing how it would goe downe. To conclude this Reason, For the Parliament to allow such a latitude as a To∣leration, it would be against the solemne Covenant: For the Mini∣sters to be silent, and not to witnesse against such a Toleration de∣sired would be in them a breach of the Covenant, and therefore in respect to the Covenant I have taken, I here witnesse against Tole∣rations of different sects and Churches: The people by vertue of their Covenant are by all wayes and meanes in their places and callings engaged to oppose such a Toleration, by their prayers to God against it, &c. Lastly, our brethren of Scotland are ingaged with all their power and might in their places to oppose it: Now the Apologists in petitioning for a Toleration have not only bro∣ken the Covenant themselves, but they endeavour by all their wit and art in this Apologie to bring the Parliament and Kingdome into so great a guilt as the breach of this solemne Covenant.

3. A Toleration is against the nature of Reformation, a Refor∣mation * and a Toleration are diametrally opposite; The commands of God given in his Word for Reformation, with the Examples of Reforming Governours Civill and Ecclesiasticall doe not admit of a Toleration, how many things might be produced out of some Sermons and Lectures of the Apologists concerning the nature of Reformation, and of the Magistrates dutie in Reformation, which crosse and thwart Tolerations? and if the consciences of some men being unsatisfied must be a dispensation against removing such a thing, or commanding such a thing, there will never be no perfect nor thorough Reformation, for what generall Reformation can there be but will be against many mens consciences? the takin•…Page  286 away of what men have long enjoyed, and the bringing in of quite other things will trouble many consciences, and if Magistrates or Ministers may not settle things contrary to the consciences of ma∣ny, but tolerate and allow them wherin they plead Conscience, they shall never doe Gods work: In King Edwards and Queen Elizabeths Reformations, how was it against the Consciences of many taking away the Masse, Confession to the Priest, bringing in the Common Prayer Booke: In this present Reformation, how much is it against many mens Consciences the taking away the Government of the Church by Bishops, the present Lyturgie and establishing another Government and Forme of publike Worship, who if they might be allowed a Toleration would not admit a Reformation, must not the Assembly and Parliament proceede therefore in the worke of Reformation, because all mens consci∣ences are not satisfied? if this principle were once given way to, that nothing might be removed, nor nothing brought in which offends consciences, but in such a case persons must have a libertie and Toleration, men would still pretend conscience, and so no∣thing to purpose should ever be reformed publiquely, and all the Scripture speakes of Nationall and Generall Reformation by way of commanding and commending, it should be just nothing, depending meerely upon Tolerations, that is, there shall be a Re∣formation unlesse men desire a Toleration, and the upshot of all will be this, that so many of such a mind shall enjoy their way, and so many of another mind their way, &c. and they who will yeeld to the Reformation by Nehemiah and Ezra may, were there ever such Reformations read of in the Scriptures?

4. A Toleration of men in their errours, this pretended Libertie of conscience, is against the judgement of the greatest lights in the * Church both antient and moderne. I might out of Ecclesiasticall Histories, as Theodoret, &•…. relate the praises of those Emperours Theodosius, Arcadius, &c. who would not suffer the meetings of the Heretioues, but did by positive Lawes amerce and banish them, as also the brands and blemishes cast upon those Emperours who suffered the Arrians, and other Heretiques: I might out of Au∣gustine, Ambrose, Calvin, Philip, Melancth•…n, Peter, Marty, Zanchius, Musculus, Bullinger, bring many sentences agains•…Page  287 Tolerations, and leaving men to the libertie of their owne consci∣ences, and how by lawes and Discipline Magistrates may com∣mand obedience to the Worship of God established, and to return into the Unitie of the Church: But out of many I will give you the * judgement of two, Augustine and Beza: Augustine in his Epistle to Vincentius writes to this purpose, declaring to him, though he was sometimes of that opinion, that erroneous men should not be dealt with by force but only by the Word of God, yet now by the arguments of others, and by the visible examples of many being re∣duced from errours by that meanes he had changed his judgement, and that therefore the Lawes of Princes might be lawfully made use of against errours. And for this coactive power he brings ma∣ny grounds in that Epistle, and he speakes thus: If we tolerate men in their errours, and nothing be thought upon or done by us which may be likely to terrifie and recover them, we shall truly render evill for evill: If men be compelled and terrified, but not instructed, this is a tyrannizing over them; but again, if they be •…aught and not feared, they will move the slower to goe in the way of life, not every one who spares is a Friend, nor every one who chastiseth is an enemie: And dost thou think no force is to be used to a man that he may be delivered from the per•…itiousnesse of his er∣rour, when as we know God himself doth so in many Examples, and speaking on that point he saith, it must not be so much considered that a man is compelled, as what that is to which he is compelled: In this Epistle the Father answers some objections brought against compelling men, as that this does no good to •…ome, as that this is persecution, as that these Heretiques would not doe so, &c. so he writes in his b 50. Epistle to Boniface, and in his c 204. Epist. to Donatus upon the same subject; And d in his Retractations he retracts this errour which he sometimes held, and had writ of, 〈◊〉 it did not please him that schismatick•…s should be compelled 〈◊〉〈◊〉 to Communion by the force of any s•…cular pow•…r, and Page  288 gives his reasons there of the change of his judgement from what he formerly held, because now he had experience how much evill the Toleration and suffering of them did, as also how much the di∣ligence of Discipline would conferre to the making of them bet∣ter.eBeza in his Epistles and other writings speakes much against Tolerations and the libertie of Conscience pleaded for, and answers to that, whether libertie of Conscience is to be permitted? No, as this libertie is understood, that is, that every man may worship God after what manner he will himselfe. For this is a meere diabolicall opinion, That every one is to be suffered that if he will he may perish. And in the same Epistle he saith of Tolera∣tions, This is that diabolicall libertie which hath filled Polonia and Transylvania with so many plagues of opinions which other∣wise else no countries under the Sun would have tolerated. And in this Epistle he tels him to whom he writes, that which I per∣ceive you call libertie of conscience, but I on every side call an open destruction and ruine: So in his Confession of Faith under that head of the office of the Christian Magistrate he speaks thus. fHis office is to preserve the publike peace and quietnesse: now whereas that cannot be rightly done, but the true worship of God must flourish in the first place, from whence flowes all happinesse, it followes that nothing ought to be more looked to by the Christian Magistrates thē to have the Church ordered according to the rule of Gods Word, whose authoritie they may defend and vindicate against all contemners and disturbers: neither are they here to be hearkned unto, who under the maske and colour of false pitie and mercie, and not only by vaine and foolish arguments, but ar∣guments*joyned with a great deale of impietie doe exempt false prophets and heretiques from the sword of Princes, when as on the contrary no kind of men are to be compelled with greater severity, as the expresse word of God commands, and religious Princes have alwaies done: And upon that subject, that Heretiques ought to be punished by the Civill Magistrate, he hath writ a book at large, answering all the objections for Tolerations and pretended liberty of conscience: And to the judgement of the Fathers, and the Mo∣derne Writers in this point, I will adde the judgement of the Divines of New-England who are against the Toleration of Page  289 any Church-Government and way but one: For the Discipline appointed by Iesus Christ for his Churches is not arbitrary, that*one Church may set up one and practise one forme, and another another forme, as each one shall please, but is one and the same for all Churches and in all the Essentials and Substantials of it un∣changeable, and to be kept till the appearing of Iesus Christ. And if that Discipline which we here practise be (as we are perswaded of it) the same which Christ hath appointed, and therefore un∣alterable, we see not how another can be lawfull. And so in New-England they will not suffer Brownists, Anabaptists, Antino∣mians.h Mr Cotton the greatest Divine in New-England, and a pretious man, is against Tolerations, and holds that men may be punished for their consciences, as will appeare by his Letter to Mr Williams, and Mr Williams answer, (both printed) and his Expo∣sition on the Vials, wherein he answers an objection: But you will say conscience should not be forced, &c. he answers, Why doe you thinke Heretiques were not as conscionable in the old Testament as now? if any man had a conscience to turne men from God, he would have men of as much conscience to cut them off.

5. The Magistrates Toleration of errours and new opinions is a kind of Invitation to them, a Temptation, and occasion of many * falling, who otherwise never would, a snare to many, a stumbling block laid before the weake, the leaving a pit or well uncovered, an opportunitie for Sathan, a mans owne corruption, or seducers to worke upon, and to draw away by: when men may broach opinions and vent them, hold and practise what they please with∣out any danger, nay with the leave and countenance of the Magi∣strate: what advantage will not Satan and wanton witted men take by this? opportunitie makes many a thiefe, and impunitie makes many venture, and as 'tis a shroud temptation to make many fall, so a Toleration is a meanes of confirmation in the way of errour, a great block to stop up the way of many who might be gained for ever returning, when men know they may have their own way and are at their libertie, they will goe o•…, the engage∣ment of credit, &c. is much being in a way to continue in it, they have no necessity of harkning to Councell, or waighing arguments: But the deniall of a Toleration, and by positive Lawes comman∣ding Page  290 the contrary, as 'tis a great Preservative, so 'tis a Restorative, and a meanes of recovering many; when men see they cannot have their wils, they will consider a little better what they doe, as also review their former thoughts, and so may be reduced; yea, multitudes have blessed God they have not been left to their owne libertie, but that by severity of Discipline meanes have been used: This evill of Tolerations, and good of Coactions by Lawes hath been seen and approved of by long experience; Augustine that holy and learned Father from the experience of this changed his judgement about Tolerations, whereas it was his first judgement, and he had in a former Book writ, that it did not please him that Schismaticks should be compelled and forced to communion by the force of any secular power, afterwards he was of another mind, and writes that the grounds of his change were these: 1. The great evill of Tolerations, the great evill that impunitie made many run into. 2. The great good compulsion conferred to the making of many better, which he saw by many Examples of whole Ci∣ties converted from Donatisme, and comming to the Unitie of the Church. In the 48. Epistle formerly quoted, he writes thus to Vincentius, That it was his opinion at first that no man was to be compelled to the Unitie of the Church, all was to be done by per∣swasion, we were to strive by disputation, and to overcome by rea∣son, lest we should make those fained Catholiques, whom we knew to be open Heretiques; but this my opinion was overcome, not by words, but by demonstrative examples, for first of all my owne city was brought to me for an Example, which being wholly for Donatus was converted to the Catholike Unitie by the feare of the Imperiall Lawes, so many other cities were named and recko∣ned up to me, to these examples brought me by my Colleagues I gave place: we see not 〈◊〉 few men, but many cities who were Dona∣tists to be now Catholiques, and vehemently to detest that diabo∣licall separation, and zealously to love unitie: which persons were by the meanes and occasion of this feare (which displeases you) made Catholiques by the lawes of the Emperours from Constan∣tine down to these present Emperours: How many did therefore remaine Donatists because they were there borne, and no men did compell them to come out from them, and to goe to the Catho∣lique Page  291 Church: The terrour of these Lawes, in the promulgation of which the Kings of the earth served the Lord, did so profit all these, that now others say, thanks be to God who hath broken our bonds, and hath translated us to the bond of peace; others sory we did not know this to be the truth, neither would we have learned it, if we had been left to our libertie, but feare made us attentive to know it: Others say, we were terrified from entring in by false feares, which we should never have knowne to have been false, but by entring in, neither should we have entred in, unlesse we had been compelled. And so aAugustine against Gaudentius speakes thus: Whereas you thinke none must be forced to truth who are unwilling, you are deceived, not knowing the Scriptures, nor the power of God, which makes those willing who when they were compelled were unwilling. And in his books of b Retractations he gives the experience of this fifth Reason as the ground of retra∣cting what he had formerly writ and held in this point. c Learned Beza observed it in his time, that Tolerations of sects, and Liber∣tie of conscience (as it was called) was the ground of filling Polo∣nia and Transylvania with so many pestilent opinions, which otherwise no people under the Sunne would have suffered, and that if the Magistrate had tried by all meanes in Transylvania, &c. to have restrained that libertie, they had not been brought to that condition which he judged no lesse miserable then Mahume∣tisme it selfe: And he wishes that France had given Polonia an example of this one thing, and showes the great difference be∣tween the peace and true liberty of conscience enjoyed at Geneva, and in Polonia, one granting Tolerations, the other none. So d he shewes the benefit and good of compulsion, I passe by that, Au∣gustine being taught by experience it selfe, witnessed so often against the Donatists, many to be of that disposition that they are by nothing more kept in dutie then by severity of Discipline, so that what at first they left for feare of punishment, afterwards they willingly cast away, professing the sharpnesse used to have been very profitable. We have seene also by our own experience in this intermysticall season (though there hath been no formall Tolera∣tion) yet for want of Government setled, and people having been left to so great libertie, multitudes are fallen, and doe daily to Page  292Antinomianisme, Anabaptisme, Independencie, yea to denie the Immortalitie of the Soule, and then no expectation but many will fall more and more: Independents and all kinde of Sectaries (as long as they can have their libertie) snuffe up the wind, will not hearken to any way whereby they may receive satisfaction, but if once the Magistrate declares, and by laws concludes one way of Church-worship and Government, then it may be they will heare Reason: Men as long as they have any hopes will stand out, who yet when they see no remedie, will examine and consider: Now what account God will exact for his Name prophaned, for the Sa∣craments and Scriptures abused by the handling and administrati∣on of them who are not called, and what answer must be made for the ruine of Soules, harvest of sinne, corruption of doctrine al∣wayes following the publike Toleration of heresies and schismes, I humbly leave to be fully considered of, and wisely prevented by the High Court of Parliament, who must thinke, that silence pro∣vokes, and sufferance emboldens men to forsake Gods Truth and his Church, even as in civill affaires the neglecting of justice main∣tains disorders.

6. A Toleration of one or more different wayes of Churches and Church Government, from the Church and Church Go∣vernment * established, will be to this Kingdome very mischievous, pernitious and destructive, in regard of the effects and consequents of it; how faire soever a Toleration may be pretended, and how small soever the differences, yet 'tis of a vast and dreadfull conse∣quence to this Kingdome: Different Formes of Churches and Church Government in one state must needs lay a foundation of strife and division therein. It is the admitting of a seed of perpetu∣all division within its selfe, an opening a sluce to let in strife and contentions in all places publike and private, Church and Com∣mon-wealth, in Parliaments, Corporations, among the Ministers, in Families: Now how great an evill this is all wise states know, and can stand with no Christian policie, however it may agree with Machiavillian: The different Interests and Principles of the Churches established and tolerated with other things concurrent, especially in the partie tolerated apprehending themselves the weaker will be working in them to watch all advantages to grow Page  293 and increase, and to get into places and favour with great men and Princes (as we see the Heretiques did in Ecclesiasticall Histories, and the Arminians in the Netherlands with the Magistrates, and will never rest working till they get the upper hand, and sup∣presse the other.) But besides the continuall heart-burnings and divisions betweene the Ministers of the different Churches, the people among themselves, the husband and wife with the corrup∣tion of doctrine, a Toleration will be a likely meanes of producing civill warres in this land, and whereas now we have a warre be∣tween King and Parliament, we may expect a warre amongst the people, yea the Toleration desired would prove a mighty advan∣tage for the Court party to make use of those sects, and by enlar∣ging some favours to them (being the weaker partie to gain them) by their help to overthrow the Government established, and to advance the Prerogative, the sad effects and mischiefes already (without any formall Toleration) of the different Churches and Governments, doe appeare in the jealousies, divisions, delayes, lay∣ing down of places, in not being so active, &c. whereby the Court partie is strengthened, Reformation hindred, and the good partie weakned: Now considering the many dangerous effects and conse∣quents of a Toleration to this state, and considering the small diffe∣rences betweene the Apologists and the Presbyterians (as them∣selves say) and that they can for a need come to our Churches, and partake in the Sacraments, hold Communion with us as the Chur∣ches*of Christ, why should they have different Churches and Go∣vernment allowed? The Parliament upon so small a ground and needlesse a cause hath the lesse cause to give way to a Toleration, which would certainely produce so great mischiefs and evils.

7. Independencie and the Church way besides the evill of it in its selfe considered, (as being a schisme in forsaking the reformed * Churches and constituting new, the way of constituting Churches by the people, the way of making their Ministers, the refusing of beleevers and their children to the Sacraments (unlesse they be Church members) with many more, all slat against the Primitive patterns) hath ever been from first to last a fountaine of evill and a root of bitternesse, of many bitter divisions and separations a∣mongst themselves, of manifold errors and other mischiefes in Page  294 those Churches and places where they lived, God having alwayes witnesses against it, and never blessing it with peace and truth. I shall not need to relate the histories of the Anaptists (the highest forme of Independencie and the Church way) what evils they fell into, and the mischiefes they brought upon Germanie, and how God cursed and scattered them: As for the Brownists the middle forme of Independencie, the Apologists themselves confesse they had fatall miscarriages and shipwracks; And I could tell a sad storie (but that it would be now too long) even from Bolton and Browne the first and prime leaders down to the present Brownists at Amsterdam, of the Apostasies, Heresies, Separations and bitter divisions, with the untimely fearefull ends which have fallen out amongst them, but in respect my booke so much exceeds the pro∣portion intended, I shall reserve that for a more distinct handling. And for the semi-Brownists and Independents (so cal'd by way of distinction) they have not been free; The Churches of the Apo∣logists have had their bitter divisions and fearefull miscarriages, as the Reader may remember in these pages of this present Answer, pag. 35, 36, 37, 142, 143, 144. with some erroneous conceits fallen into and preached in one of their Churches: So in the Churches of New-England there have been so many errors, differences and e∣vils, that I beleeve had we but a true impartiall storie of New-England for the first seven or eight yeares (after they were come to any number) we should have the strangest storie (next that of the Anabaptists and old Brownists) one of them in the world; in a word, they were brought by their Independencie and Church principles next dore to ruine both spirituall and temporall, the sad experience of which hath made them wheele about of later yeeres towards Presbyteriall government, and in stead of that, not being yet formally come to it, to take aliquid analogum in the first constituting of Churches, making Ministers, &c. which at first they did not, and to give more power to Classes and Synods then they did many yeares agoe, as by comparing some Letters from thence in those times written by Ministers over into England, and Mr Cottons late booke will be evident. In a word, he that will ob∣serve it shall find the end of Independencie infinite schismes, sepa∣rations, errors, inconstancie and uncertainty in judgement, yea bar∣barisme Page  295 and confusion, and the Toleration of it by this State would be the opening of a sloud-gate to many other errors and evills be∣sides what evill is in that, being a way all along wherein it •…iffers from the reformed Churches either beside or against the word of God: And should the Parliament, which God forbid, and I hope is farre from their thoughts) give the Independents a Tole∣ration of their way and Churches, they should give they know no•… what, having never yet spoken out all that they hold (this Apo∣logie containing but a little part of their way) besides taking in their second great principle, page 10. Apolog, of not making their present judgement and practise a binding law for the future, the Parliament may grant grosse Brownisme, Anabaptisme within a short time, many falling off according their principles of new light, to cast off communion with their own Churches, as some of Mr Sympsons have done; and let it be but remembred what I now write, whether some of the Apologists (if they come not in and joyne with the reformed Churches) doe not within a few yeeres goe a great way further, I think, had they staid together in Holland till this time, without any hopes of a Toleration here, some of them had gone farre by this time of day: Anointing with oyle was begun to be brought in, Hymnes had been moved for in one of their Churches, and if I may beleeve the report of a religious Person in an open company affirming it againe and againe, when I doubted it, that a member of the Church of A•…nheim (who was also named to me) related, that had they staid there a lit∣tle longer, the ordinance of Hymnes had been practised amongst them, one being chosen and agreed upon by the Church to ex∣ercise that ordinance. And I am able to demonstrate it, that the Apologists keeping but to their principles (besides the prin∣ciple of a Reserve) must yet goe a great way further, and sup∣posing the Parliament should make a proposition to them, Wee will grant you this and this, and so (which be the pre∣sent principl•…s you hold forth) but if you bring in any thing more or goe farther, then your Churches shall be dessolved, and we will recall what we granted you (because we will be sure to know what we allow in matters of Religion, be at a certaintie for that,) I doe not thinke the Apologists would accept of a Tolera∣tion Page  296 upon those tearmes, and such a condition: The beginnings of errors commonly are most modest, but let alone some time, they exceed all bounds, how farre most of the Arminians proceeded be∣yond what Arminius held, or themselves at first, the learned books of many Divines and experience showes, and if a Tolera∣tion were granted to the Apologists and all those of their commu∣nion to exercise their consciences, I feare before a yeere went about many would turne Anabaptists, &c. but I desire rather to pray a∣gainst a toleration, then to prophecie of the evill of it: But sup∣posing the best that can be, that the State had an Assurance the A∣pologists and their Churches would not goe one step further then now they hold, the Toleration should not be made use of to any further errors, yet the Parliament should not allow it, unlesse they would grant a Toleratiod of Brownisme; and if Brownisme be a bitter error and way, then the way of the Apologists is not very sweet, their way being but Browns younger brother, agreeing with the Brownists in the nature and definition of the visible Church, in the Independent power of a particular Congregation, in the way of making Officers, in the way of their ordinanc•…s, as Prophesying, in the way of Forms of Prayer, in the Sacraments, none to be ad∣mitted but Church members, cum multis alijs, and I desire the Apologists to give any materiall difference (however their grounds are different, and they doe not goe so farre in consequences, nor are not so grosse) between their Churches and the Brownists: As for that of the power of the people and the Officers, in giving the power to the Officers, but the Brownists to the people. I answer, however the Apologists differ in that point from the Brownists, in words, phrases, methods, and give us many fine words and flat∣tering similitudes, going about, yet the truth is they differ not in substance in their practise, but all comes to one end and issue, and all is resolved into the body of the Congregation, and their power from first to last amongst the Apologists as well as amongst the Brownists, (though here 'tis carried in a fairer way, as fine wits must doe, and that they may have something to say, wherein they are not Brownists,) but of this the Reader may see more in this Answer, page 204, 205, 206.

8. The Presbyteriall way, the order and governme•… of the re∣formed *Page  297 Churches hath been countenanced from Heaven, and bles∣sed from above with the preservation of the truth and unitie of Re∣ligion, against heresies and errors in Doctrine, Idolatry and corrup∣tion in worship, and all sorts of sects and •…chisme, it hath been free of those mischiefes and evills of errors and divisions which the In∣dependent Churches have swarmed with, and that through a long tract of time and the experience of almost a hundred yeeres toge∣ther: In reformed Churches where this government hath been set up, and hath had its free way and exercise even where it hath wan∣ted the advantages of the Magistrate being a member of the Church, and hath had many disadvantages in regard of the spirits and dispositions of the people with many temptations to errors, yet it hath in those places kept out errors and schismes, preserved puritie of doctrine and peace: For example, in the Churches of France, it is evident by many yeeres experiences (though their Princes be popish) and they live in the midst of Papists, yet by Gods blessing upon their government and order, their Churches have been and are pure in doctrine, few or none falling to Popery, Arminianisme, or to sects and sch•…smes, and when any errors doe a∣rise amongst them, yet by meanes of that governement they are * soone suppressed, and prevented from spreading. It was the ob∣servation of Beza in his time, of the French Churches, though France was grievously afflicted and oppressed by many, yet for that which concerned Religion it was free from all troubles and stirrs: And yet notwithstanding there was nothing wanting of all those things by which Satan might easily draw and move the French to all kind of troubles; for example, an inbred naturall lightnesse in that Nation, wits very ready for subtiltie and •…iceties, the mind of the Magistrates intent also upon it, that all manner of wayes the Christian Churches might destroy themselves with their in∣ward dissentions: notwithstanding all this, no strength of the ad∣versaries hitherto, no not in the midst of all the tempests of warre, hath been able to beare thorough the most strong bu•…warke and wall of Ecclesiasticall discipline.

Page  298 For the Church of Scotland, I have heard it often and that from good hands, that during the free use and exercise of Pres∣byteriall government there, never any heresie or schisme tooke the third man, but by meanes of that governement it hath been pul'd up at first, and either the particular person broa∣ching the errour recovered, or however prevented before three have beene infected with it: *Beza in his first Epistle gives a notable testimony to this government by the blessing of God upon it in the City of Geneva: Geneva (be it spoken without offence) hath rather escaped then overcome all the in∣ward tempests against Religion, so great as no City perhaps under Heaven hath done the like, it never yet felt any differences nor contentions of the Pastors amongst themselves in points of do∣ctrine, 'tis free from the furies of the Anabaptists, the contagion of the Libertines, the blasphemies of Servetians, a City otherwise open to all strangers and comers, and for that cause very fit and subject to the wiles of Satan. But truly it owes all this by Gods blessing to the Ecclesiasticall discipline duely and diligently obser∣ved, which also now causes that all sorts almost out of all nations under Heaven there gathered together, in peace and in true li∣berty of conscience, doe willingly accord together.

The Commissioners of the Church of Scotland tell us, that this*government hath made the Church of Christ terrible as an army with banners, and like a strong and fenced City, against which the adversaries have despaired to prevaile, but by making a breach in this wall, and where they have gained ground or gotten any ad∣vantage, either the wall hath not been built, or being built hath been broken down, or not vigilantly kept by the watchmen.

But there will be objected against this a passage lately printed in a book of Mr Simpsons, that there have beene as great defections*both of Ministers and people unto errors under Presbyteriall go∣vernment Page  299 as under any other: as it is cleare in the Low-Coun∣tries where so many Ministers and people turned Arminians, Papists, Socinians: I have instanced in severall reformed Chur∣ches, and showed Gods blessing upon Presbyteriall government, here's only one instance among all the reformed Churches brought against it, and to that I shall give these three answers: Though the Churches in the Low-Countries are Presbyteriall, yet withall ther's a Toleration of other Churches and government there, which is one of the causes of it and hinders Presbyteriall government: A Toleration will spoile any Church and government; if Presby∣teriall government be setled, and a Toleration given in this Land, that will marre all; so that the Parliament may be pleased to take notice by this, and observe the difference between those Churches which have no Tolerations, as Scotland, Geneva, and the Low-Countries which grant a Toleration, the one are pure in doctrine, &c. the other makes Ministers and people turne Arminians, Soci∣nians, &c. 2 Answ. There's another Reason why it may so fall out in the Low-Countries, because Presbyteriall government hath not its free course there in Synods, but 'tis much disturbed over 'tis in France, Geneva, Scotland, whereas by their Canons and Con∣stitutions in the Netherlands, there should be a Nationall Synod once in three yeeres, they have not, nor cannot procure one in twen∣ty yeeres and upwards; and whereas Provinciall Synods should be yeerely, they have them in some Provinces but once in five and seven yeeres; besides there are other disturbances in Presbyteriall government which hinders the free course of it in Holland, many encroachments are made upon the rights of their Church due to them by vertue of their discipline, and heretofore established: In a word, that Anabaptisticall and Familisticall spirit in many, and that corrupt spirit and principles in others, with those prin∣ciples of Toleration, doth much check and stop Presbyteriall go∣vernment from having its perfect worke, and bringing forth its full effects. The true Reason of so many Ministers and people turning Arminians and Socinians in the Low-Countries, was the want of Synods, which Arminius and his followers alwayes declined, and by flattering the Magistrates kept off for many yeares, in which time so many fell, whereas if Presbyteriall government had had Page  300 its course, and a Nationall Synod had been called, yea but a Pro∣vinciall for the Arminians to have answered in at first before it had so much spread, and they gained so many of the Magistrates on their side, we should have found there would have been no ground for Mr Simpson to write thus, As is cleare in the Low-Countries where so many Ministers and people turned Arminians, Papists and Socinians? In a word, till the calling of Synods, and the pow∣er of Presbyteriall government was shaken, and some Arminians by flattery and policie wrought to put by Ecclesiasticall Assem∣blies, and appealed to the Magistrates, as Mr Simpson does in this Apologie from the Assembly, there was not so great a defection both of Ministers and people unto errors, in turning Papists, Soci∣nians, &c. 3. Though Presbyteriall government hath not its free course in the Low-Countries as in France, Geneva, Scotland, be∣sides the Toleration there, yet there are infinitely fewer miscar∣riages in censures, divisions, errors in the Presbyteriall Churches then in the Independents, there having been more contentions, miscarriag•…s, falling into errors in one small Church of the Inde∣pendent way at Amsterdam, and that within lesse then one yeere, then in all the Churches in some Provinces: I remember perfectly, I have read in Mr Pagetts Arrow against Separation (a man who lived long in Holland, and much versed in the Controversie) how he showes, that out of a few members in the Brownists Churches more fall to Anabaptisme, &c. then out of many thousand mem∣bers of the Presbyteriall Churches amongst the Dutch, or out of all the English Reformed Churches there. So that notwithstanding this new objection brought against Presbyteriall government if the Parliament should please to settle it, and that in the full power and free use of Classes and Synods, denying also a Toleration for Independencie (unto which all erroneous and discontented spirits upon all occasions would flow and gather) instead of opening a wide gate for errors, divisions and many other mischiefes, they shall lay a sure foundation for truth and peace in these Churches: And in the last words of the Commissioners of the Church of Scotland I conclude this last Reason against a Toleration: The Church of Eng∣land which God hath blessed with so much learning and piety, by this Reformation and uniformity with other reformed Churches, Page  301 which all of us have solmnely sworne and subscribed to endeavour in our severall places and callings, should be a praise in the earth. Now did not other occasions call me to take off my hand, besides the booke it selfe swelled already to such a number of sheets, I would have answered all the reasons brought both for Tolerations in generall, and particularly for the Congregationall way, as that men are to be perswaded in matters of Religion and not com∣pelled, as that the Conscience is to be left free, as that the deniall of a Toleration will be a great persecution, as that this is the way to make men hypocrites, as that Gods people are a willing people, &c. but reserving this to another season, in the close of this Dis∣course I will propound these following questions to the A∣pologists:

1. Whether the commanding of men by the power of Lawes to doe their duties, to doe the things which God requires of them, with the using of outward meanes to worke them to it when un∣willing, be unlawfull for the Magistrate, and against Christian li∣bertie, yea or no?

2. In your moving for a Toleration, doe you desire it for you five only, with those who are actually and will come in to be members of your Churches, or for all the Churches who are of the same way and Communion, if for your selves and Churches onely (which would be more tolerable, a few then a great number, and you being persons of more worth then most of the others) consi∣der the solemne League and Covenant is against it, That we shall without respect of persons endeavour the extirpation of schisme, and whatsoever shall be found contrary to sound Doctrine; so that you cannot be tolerated more then others, besides if that were granted, you being but five Ministers and making up but three or foure Churches, the Parliament would be never the neerer in gi∣ving satisfaction, for what should become of all the rest of the Mi∣nisters and Churches in City and Countrey, of Mr C. Mr B. Dr H. Mr L. Mr G. Mr W. &c. the Parliament would be accounted par∣tiall and further off from giving content then if they granted none at all. But if it be said you desire it for all Churches of your con∣stitution, I answer, expresse so much under your hands, and I will then give you an answer.

Page  302 3. Whether would you have a Toleration granted in the gene∣rall, and indifferently for all consciences, sects, and opinions; or only for some sort of opinions; I suppose, being wise men you will not expresse your selves for a Toleration in the first sense, but in the latter: I desire to know of you then what limits and bounds you will set, and where the Parliament shall stop, and what rules you will give for this, as first whether the limitation shall be a To∣leration only for all different formes of Church-Government and order, so long as they agree in Doctrine with the Church establi∣shed, and are Orthodox; but not of doctrine: Now if you hold so, then the Brownists, and the Bishops, with those who are for the Hierarchie must be tolerated as well as you; many Episcopall men being sounder in doctrine then some of your way, and if so, then the simple Anabaptists, and that sort of simple Anabaptists called Dippers will come in too, saying, that Baptisme at such an age, and baptizing in rivers by dipping, are but matters of order and time, and what if yet a new forme of Church Government, and way of externall order in the Administration of Gods Ordinances be set up by some, a way which hath never yet beene practised by any, must that be tolerated also? consider with your selves whether there may not be a safer allowance of difference in some doctrines and opinions, then of different governments, as also what you have expressed of the consequence of Church Government and or∣der, and then resolve me whether you will have all formes of Church-Government allowed, and in my Rejoynder I will apply my selfe particularly to show you the danger of that, and how much hazard there is even of the Doctrine from the Discipline and Order, if that be not right. Or secondly, would you have a Tole∣ration in points of Doctrine too, namely in lesser differences, I desire to know what you will make the rule and measure of those lesser differences? whether whatever may stand with saving grace, and is not against the fundamentals of Doctrine and civill Govern∣ment, or what else? Now if you meane so, who shall deter∣mine and judge what may stand with saving grace, &c. every Heretick, Socinian, &c. will plead his opinion may, and I aske of you, whether many points and practises very bad and pernitious may not stand with saving grace in some men, at least for a time, Page  303 what say you to Polygamie that hath stood with saving grace, may that be tolerated? what think you of many Arminian Tenets, some Lutheran opinions, Antinomian Doctrines, and other dangerous points held by great Schollars, as by Brentius, Osiander, Flaccius, Illyricus, may not some of these opinions stand with grace, and might not some of these have grace, and must these now be allow∣ed to be preached in a Kingdome that hath established Articles of Religion and a Confession of Faith? and shall such preachers ga∣ther people into Churches? if all points may be preached, and Churches allowed for all Doctrines that are not against funda∣mentals, and that may stand with saving grace, there will be a strange face of Protestant Reformed Churches, infinite novelties may be broached, and great stirs caused in a Kingdome, I desire you in your Reply to state your lesser differences, and to set downe your Boundaries, what, and what not, and accordingly I shall an∣swer; In the meane time from these few hints, you and the Rea∣der may see, besides the unlawfulnesse, there's difficultie where to fasten a Toleration. Now in the close of my discourse against To∣leration, I take the humble boldnesse to represent to the Honoura∣ble Houses of Parliament, that tis the Magistrates dutie not to suf∣fer schismes, heresies, and other errours to grow and increase in the Church; for as they are Magistrates they truly serve God, whose Ministers they are, and kisse the Son, in revenging the inju∣ries wantonly committed against God and his truth, and in pre∣serving the externall politie of Doctrine and manners: one of the great services Princes and Parliament performe to Christ in refe∣rence to their great and high calling, consists in making Lawes for the observing the Worship and Government of his House, and by Lawes prohibiting all other worships and governments. And I humbly beseech the Parliament seriously to consider the depths of Satan in this designe of a Toleration, how this is now his last plot and designe, and by it would undermine and frustrate the whole work of Reformation intended, 'tis his Master-piece for England, and for the effecting of it, he comes and moves not in Prelates and Bishops, not in furious Anabaptists, &c. but in holy men, excellent Preachers, moderate and faire men, not for a toleration of heresies and grosse opinions, but an allowance of a latitude to some lesser Page  304 differences with peaceablenesse, this is candidus ille Diabolus, as *Luther speakes, and m•…ridianus Di•…bolus, as Iohannes Ger∣sonius, an•…B•… expresse it, comming under the merits of much suffering, and well deserving, clad in the white garments of Inno∣cencie and Holinesse: In a word, could the devill effect a Tolera∣tion, he would think he had gained well by the Reformation, and made a good exchange of the Hierarchie to have a Toleration for it: I am con•…ident of it upon serious thoughts and long searching into this point of the evils and mischiefe of a Toleration, that if the devill had his choice, whether the Hierarchie, Ceremonies and Lyturgie should be established in this Kingdome, or a Toleration granted, he would chuse and preferre a Toleration before them, and would willingly part with, and give up all those for a Tolera∣tion of divers Sects and different Churches. To conclude, if the way of Independencie be of God, and the Apologists can make that good, let it be established by the Parliament, and let's all come to that; if it be not, why then should it be tolerated? and why did the Apologists move for a Toleration before that ever it came to be debated and argued in the Assembly. And now for a conclusi∣on and closing up this Answer to the Apologeticall Narration, I might as some Authors doe in answering Bookes gather together, and draw up into one all the maine particulars of the Apologie animadverted upon, and put them under certaine heads, and ranke them in their severall formes, and so present a Synopsis of them to both Houses and the Reader, whereby they might have all in their eye at once, see much in a little: As 1. all the expressions of the high praises of themselves and their owne partie scattered up and downe in the Apologie. 2. The Aspersions, Depressions, Insinuations both open and more secret of the Reformed Chur∣ches, and of the Assembly. 3. The crossings and interfearings of some passages in the book with others. 4. The plaine and mani∣fest untruths expressed in many pages. 5. All the Reservations and Concealments of matters both of opinions and practises in the Church-way. 6. The double doubtfull expressions both in words and matter. 7. The mistating of the questions in diffe∣rence both on their owne side, and the Presbyterians, stating their owne differences with the lowest, and the Reformed Churches at Page  305 the highest. 8. The generall expressions without comming down to 〈◊〉〈◊〉 which being deducted and extracted from the Ap•…ie, what remain•… behind (saving some few argumen•…s hin∣ted) but a just testimo•… of the Parliament and Assembly, with a 〈◊〉 character of the people and multitude, and a brand upon the old separation, which pa•…▪ also of the Parliament, Assembly; People and Separation 〈◊〉 brought in, both the praise of 〈◊〉, and the dispraise of the other, in reference to the magnifying and com∣mending the more the 〈◊〉 and patience, &c. of the Apolo∣gists, but I spare; the wise Reader may observe the passages, and I have animadverted upon them all along in my Answer. I could have▪ made one part of my Answer to this Apologie〈◊〉 strange (though •…ue) paraphrase upon it▪ and andin•…〈◊〉 have 〈◊〉 the Narration of themselves for the most part contrary: But I shall reserve that, with some other things I have yet to say i•… matter of fact, till I put out my Rejoynder to their Reply: In 〈◊〉 meane 〈◊〉 I shall conclude this Antapologie with •…rning my 〈…〉Page  306 by dissolving your Churches, and comming in to us, and that you may repent and recall this Apologie, I will represent to you the greatnesse of your sin and folly in making the Apologie, and it stands in these particulars: 1. It was an unseasonable disorderly work for the time and way of it. 2. 'Tis a Narration full of mentall Reservations, high praises of your selves, but censuring and scandalizing the Reformed Churches of Christ. 3. There are many untruths in it, and that not only where you make naked▪ relations o•… things, but where you make professions before God and the world; yea, •…here you make serious Invocations of God to a•…est them, and men also, and all this is done publikely by printing, and deliberately, and upon a designe to take the more with the people, and to make way the better for a •…oleration. 4. There is a breach of the solemne Covenant subscribed by you, especially in that clause of the first branch, we shall endeavour to bring the Churches of God in the three Kingdomes to the neerest Conjunction and Uniformitie in Relegion, Confission of Faith, and Forme of Church-Government, in stead of which before ever you •…o much as tried and endeavoured it, by debating▪ those matters of diffe∣rence in the Assembly, whereby it might be brought to an Uni∣formitie; you endeavour by this Apologie a Toleration, and sue for an exemption of Conjunction and Uniformitie in Church▪ Go∣vernment, which is strange you should desire, especially having co∣ve•…anted to the contrary, which breach of covenant is aggravated also, that you do not onely do it your selves, but you labour to bring the Houses into it by moving them to grant you a Toleration: Now if a simple and single untruth need repentance, what repen∣t•…nce ought there to be for such a compounded aggravated evill as yours •…s: And as I have represented it to your own consciences that you may smite upon the thigh, so I turne you over to your Churches, whereof you are Ministers, that they deale with you for your great sin, and either bring you to Con•…ion and Repen∣tance, or else proceed to censure, did I know where your Churches dwelt and where they meet, I might then come and complain to them of your great sin, but in stead of comming, I send them this Answer, and hereby give them notice, and 〈◊〉 ready to satisfie any that shall desire further proofe, and in stead of declaring by letters Page  307 the offence, I doe by printing declare it, and require of the Churches, especially Mr Sympsons Church, as they will not be guilty of suffering known sinne in the Church, as they would not suffer sinne to lye upon a brother, and as they would vin∣dicate the glory and honour of Christ, that they call Mr Sympson to an account and admonish him, and bring him to publike repen∣tance for his publike sin, or else upon impenitencie and obstinacie that they cast him out of the Church; and I beleeve the sin he is charged with will fall under the subject of that dreadfull sentence according to what sins your selves judge that sentence is to be put in execution for, Apol. pag. 9. But if Mr Sympsons Church neglect, and will not question this sin, then I desire the rest of the Chur∣ches of that Communion to send to the Churches of the Apolo∣gists, and to charge them with their countenancing of sin, and if the Churches will still beare and wink at sin, and continue impeni∣tent, that then the rest of the Churches, namely, Mr Lockiers, Mr Carters, Dr Holmes, &c. doe pronounce the heavy sentence of Non-communion against the Apologists Churches, and further to dèclare and protest this with the causes thereof to all other Churches of Christ, that they may doe the like, to send also to New-England, and give notice to all the Churches of the Separa∣tion, that they may Non-communion the Apologists Churches. But if the particular Churches of the Apologists, and all the Churches of their owne Communion will all hold to favour sin, neither question the Apologists, nor their Churches, then we shall have a cleare instance of the partialitie of those Churches, and of their allowing of sin among themselves, and of the insu•…ti∣ciencie of those Remedies of Submission, Non-Communion, De∣claration and Protestation.

FINIS.